MANCHESTER, Jamaica – Laverna Campbell, LASCO/Nurses Association of Jamaica Nurse of the Year 2016-2017 recently stepped out of the health services field to organize a 3K Walk/Run.
Proceeds from the run went to the Yadel Home for Children in Bannister in Old Harbour, St. Catherine.
Inspired by the work her church Cobbla New Testament Church of God, located in Spalding Manchester had started in the children’s home, Campbell sought to do more.
Every third Sunday of each month, female congregants of Cobbla New Testament give a donation toward the management of the home using the motto, “Stand Up For Yadel”.
“As the LASCO/NAJ Nurse of the Year I wanted to visit the home to see firsthand what happens there and what could be done for the girls,” Campbell said.
After the visit, the nurse, who works at the Percy Junor Hospital in Manchester approached the NAJ president and proposed that the association not only host its annual Easter Bunny Treat outside of Kingston but also at the Yadel Home for Children. From that moment, the drive to raise funds was ignited and the 3K Walk/Run born.
Other partners included LASCO, who donated water, drinks and sanitary napkins as well as the Cobbla New Testament Church of God and Percy Junor Hospital.
The charity run/walk raised $60,000 from 32 participants. Campbell will also handover a refrigerator to the children’s home next month.
“I chose the 3K Walk/Run because it’s all about health and wellness. It’s a good form of exercise and people are now buying into these activities,” Campbell said.
Furthermore, “this is an easier way to mobilize persons and once the funds are for a worthy cause, it will be supported,” she added.
Campbell was heartened by the support received.
“I enjoyed the friendly rivalry between the walkers and the runners. It was also good to see the runners from Percy Junor and those from the church battling for the front,” she said.
Continuing on her job as a nurse to support the health sector, Campbell recruited 88 people for Percy Junor Hospital’s annual blood drive. But only 52 were eligible to give blood.
The hospital recently acquired a Compact Blood Bank Refrigerator, which is able to store over 60 units of blood compared to the previous 15 units – this made the idea of a blood drive all the more meaningful.
“I have seen in many instances where persons need blood to save their lives, and due to the lack of blood, lives are lost,” Campbell said.
“The need for blood is constant and regular donation means that there will be sufficient amounts of safe blood in stock,” she added.
Campbell also called on LASCO, whom she formed a partnership with as nurse of the year to donate iCool Water, iCool drinks for donors. LASCO Gift baskets were given to the first donor, and the two frequent donors.
Those who were unable to participate in the blood drive are being encouraged to visit blood collection centres in their areas or the nearest hospital.
“Those who were screened but blood count was low they can visit the hospital to have a follow-up,” Campbell advised.
“Your small act of donating blood made a huge impact on someone’s life. Without your tremendous and continued generously we would not be able to provide the blood needed in hospitals, the nurse said. “We depend on you and others to maintain an adequate and safe blood supply to save and improve lives”.
Blood is primarily used for persons in trauma cases, such as accidents, stabbing and gunshot victims, burn victims, persons undergoing surgery and sometimes pregnant woman, who experience bleeding complications naturally, the nurse explained.
Outside of nursing, Campbell is also actively involved in her community as a member of the Kiwanis Club of Spaulding/Christiana, and a Captain in the Jamaica Combined Cadet Forces.