Compiled By NAN Staff Writers
News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. Mar. 12, 2021: Thursday, March 11, 2021 marked one year already since the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the US, claiming over half-a-million lives and infecting nearly 30 million nationally. Today, as we continue to mark Women’s History Month, we pause to remember 10 Caribbean immigrant women who lost their lives to the dreaded corona virus last year.
1: Dr. Earline Austin
Dr. Earline Austin, an immigrant from Guyana and a NYC physician, passed away from COVID-19 on April 3, 2020. Dr. Austin lived in Fresh Meadows, NY and was affiliated with Staten Island University Hospital. She was a past alumnus of Ross University Medical School and was formerly of Republic Ave. Linden, Guyana.
2: Prea Nankieshore
Prea Nankieshore was born in Guyana and later migrated to the US. She started working in 2012 as a customer service rep at Northwell Health, a hospital network Long Island Jewish Forest Hills belongs to, before transferring to LIJ Forest Hills the next year. There she worked as a clerk in the emergency department registering patients. She showed up to work every day until she started feeling ill in late March 2020.
On April 5, 2020, Nankieshore, 34, a mother of twin boys and hospital worker, passed away from the coronavirus, eight months before she planned to marry her fiancé, Marcus Khan.
3: Rosemary Coutou
Rosemary Coutou was 52 and a registered nurse at the Kings Brook Hospital in Brooklyn, NY who was originally from south Trinidad. Coutou-Figaro was admitted to hospital will flu-like symptoms in mid-March 2020. She returned home and was readmitted after her condition worsened a week later. She developed pneumonia and a chest infection and died on April 9, 2020. She was the mother of 2.
4: Dez-Ann Romain
Dez-Ann Romain was 36 and a principal at Brooklyn Democracy Academy, NY, a transfer school in Brownsville for students over 16 or without sufficient credits who are working toward a high school diploma. She was born on July 6, 1983, in Palo Seco Village, a tiny coastal town in Trinidad and Tobago. Friends said she had emigrated to New York as a teenager and lived in Far Rockaway.
On March 18, 2020, she was hospitalized for what doctors said was pneumonia. The next day, academy officials notified teachers, parents and students that an unidentified member of the school community had self-reported a case of Covid-19. She died on March 23, 2020 and was the first school employee in New York City to die of the coronavirus.
5: Annis Creese
Annis Creese was born in St. Vincent and the Grenadines and was the second educator at Northwestern High School and the third school employee to die from the novel coronavirus in Prince George’s County, Maryland. She died on April 5 in Hyattsville. MD, USA.
Creese, 73, was a Spanish teacher and planned to retire at the end of this semester. Creese grew up in poverty and was sent to live with relatives in Trinidad and Tobago. She later migrated to the US. She died on April 5 in Hyattsville. MD, USA.
6: Francoise Hilaire
Francoise Hilaire was born in Haiti before migrating to the US. As a single mother she worked as a certified nursing assistant in Braintree and Scituate in Boston, MA. She raised three children – ages 22, 21, 13 – and cared for her parents while working two jobs. She was admitted to Good Samaritan Medical Center on Easter Sunday 2020 to receive treatment for COVID-19 and was transferred to two other Steward hospitals. Hilaire died at St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center in Brighton on April 27th at the age of 54.
7: Marilyn Howard
Marilyn Howard emigrated from Guyana with her parents in 1981 at age 14 and helped care for four younger brothers. She first went to college at age 35, earned a master’s degree, and recently enrolled in Long Island University to become a nurse practitioner. Howard then became a school nurse in New York City Board of Education. She started feeling sick on March 14, 2020, a day after classes ended. She died on April 4, 2020 and at the time was the only school nurse in the New York City Board of Education system to be killed by COVID-19.
8: Fay Savin
Fay Savin was born in Kingston, Jamaica and worked in the Jamaican government until she wanted something bigger. So she moved to the United States and started working at the United Nations, where she coordinated global conferences and other developmental duties. She died on April 8, 2020 due to pneumonia and coronavirus. She was 87. Her family members said she the kind of woman who “enjoyed doing New York Times crossword puzzles in pen, naturally,” and was “an elegant, smart, witty and dynamic woman, wife, mother and grandmother.”
9: Jean Weekes Husbands
Jean Weekes Husbands was born in Barbados before migrating to the US. She was 65-year-old and a senior analyst at a financial investment firm in New Jersey. She was the brother of Desmond Weekes, a former lead singer of a yesteryear Spouge band, the Draytons Two. She passed away on April 9, 2020 from the coronavirus in a Brooklyn hospital after being admitted a week before with symptoms of the deadly disease.
10: Elecier Williams
Elecier Williams was born in Jamaica before moving to the US and living in the Bronx. Williams had a master’s and a BA in Accounting, but decided to pursue a career with NYC Transit after being “a stay-at-home Mom.” She became a train conductor with the NY MTA. After working her last shift on a Sunday or Monday in mid-April, she felt ill and was transported by ambulance to Montefiore hospital. She was placed in a medically induced coma and on a ventilator and died after three weeks in the hospital on May 3rd, 2020. She is survived by three children – Nathaniel, 20, Jayden, 15, and Haley, 8.
See more Caribbean immigrant victims of COVID-19 from News Americas