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Sunday, June 20, 2021

Mom and Daughters Work Collectively in Catholic Hospital

Nurse practitioner Novlet Davis-Bucknor poses with daughters Shekeya Washington, left, a registered nurse, and LaToya Bucknor, a nurse practitioner, at St. Francis Hospital & Coronary heart Heart in Roslyn, N.Y. (Images: CNS/Gregory A. Shemitz)

By Gregory A. Shemitz 

ROSLYN, N.Y. (CNS) — Caring for the sick is a vocation and lifestyle shared by a mom and two daughters serving collectively at a Catholic Hospital in Lengthy Island, New York.

Novlet Davis-Bucknor, 59, is a nurse practitioner within the cardiothoracic division of St. Francis Hospital & Coronary heart Heart in Nassau County. Her oldest baby, LaToya Bucknor, 39, additionally a nurse practitioner, works with the crucial care group. One other daughter, Shekeya Washington, 31, is a registered nurse within the medical intensive care unit.

“It’s good to work collectively as a result of we at all times have one another to lean on,” mentioned Novlet, who was born and raised in Jamaica and immigrated at age 26 to the U.S., the place a number of years later she started her research to be a nurse.

Novlet is the final word position mannequin as a mother {and professional} lady, LaToya and Shekeya advised Catholic Information Service.

Novlet Davis-Bucknor, left, and her daughter LaToya Bucknor, each nurse practitioners, take a selfie after administering the COVID-19 vaccine to fellow employees members at St. Francis Hospital & Coronary heart Heart in Roslyn, N.Y., Jan. 3, 2021. (Photograph:CNS/courtesy Novlet Davis-Bucknor)

“She’s at all times there for us,” mentioned LaToya. “She’s at all times loving and exhibiting us that it doesn’t matter what we undergo in life, she’s at all times going to be there to assist us.”

“My mother has proven a lot ambition and energy,” Shekeya mentioned. “She’s labored actually onerous to get the place she is as we speak. She’s by no means happy. She at all times pushes for extra. She’s an instance for my sisters and me as a Black lady.”

An workplace supervisor at a furnishings retailer in Jamaica, Novlet didn’t initially contemplate nursing as a profession till her husband, Paul Bucknor, advised it when she got here to this nation.

She had a change of coronary heart after fascinated with her mom, Frances Amanda Davis, a loving, faith-filled lady who gave beginning to 14 kids, was a homemaker and in addition assisted midwives with delivering infants.

“My mother was at all times giving, at all times serving to,” mentioned Novlet. “I needed to do one thing to present again. I went into nursing as a result of I needed to really feel success after I labored.”

Novlet, concurrently managing her roles as a spouse, mom and scholar, earned her bachelor’s and grasp’s levels in nursing at Molloy School in Rockville Centre, and several other years later, she obtained a doctorate in nursing follow at New York’s Stony Brook College.

She started her profession in 1995 at age 34 as a nurse’s aide at St. Francis, the place she has labored all through her profession. She grew to become a registered nurse in 1996 and a nurse practitioner 12 years later.

Impressed by her mother’s profession, LaToya mentioned she determined at age 15 she needed to be a nurse. Following in her footsteps, she, too, earned bachelor’s and grasp’s levels at Molloy, and has labored her whole profession at St. Francis. She grew to become a nurse practitioner in 2019.

Shekeya, then again, mentioned watching her mom’s each day routine when she was a baby had a special impact on her.

“To be trustworthy, she form of scared me away from nursing firstly,” mentioned Shekeya, chuckling. “She labored nights once we have been little youngsters. We couldn’t run round the home as a result of she was sleeping. And when she got here house, she would speak about her tough day as a ground nurse.”

After learning for her bachelor’s in biology at Hofstra College in Lengthy Island, Shekeya thought of persevering with her schooling to change into a doctor or a doctor’s assistant. Nevertheless, after accepting a job as a unit clerk at St. Francis, and seeing her mom and different nurses in motion, she modified her thoughts.

Registered nurse Shekeya Washington wears private protecting tools whereas working within the medical intensive care unit at St. Francis Hospital & Coronary heart Heart in Roslyn, N.Y., April 29, 2020, amid the coronavirus pandemic. (Photograph: CNS/courtesy Shekeya Washington)

“Working at St. Francis allowed me to see the opposite aspect of nursing,” mentioned Shekeya, who lives at house along with her mother and father and youthful sister in Queens. “Between what my mother confirmed me and what I bought to see for myself working on the hospital, that cemented it for me. I went again for my nursing diploma.”

Shekeya graduated from Molloy’s nursing program in 2018 and desires to additional her research in some unspecified time in the future, with the objective of turning into a nurse practitioner or a nurse anesthetist.

Not all of Novlet’s kids opted for nursing. A 3rd daughter, 29-year-old Shenequa Bucknor, selected a profession in advertising and public relations.

Whereas nursing has confirmed to be a rewarding profession for Novlet, LaToya and Shekeya, it has additionally introduced its share of dangers. That was by no means extra evident than a yr in the past, after they discovered themselves battling to save lots of lives — and to guard their very own — within the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Wanting again at that scary time, they mentioned their sturdy household bond and shared skilled experiences in a typical office proved important to their survival, bodily and emotionally.

Although working in numerous areas, their paths sometimes intersected through the chaos of the primary few months of the surging coronavirus. Dressed head-to-toe in private protecting tools, they might hug one another when the second allowed and share experience of their respective specialties to find out the easiest way to deal with the mounting variety of critically sick sufferers.

“We took it sooner or later at a time, one shift at a time,” mentioned LaToya. “We tried to assist one another, encourage one another.”

Shekeya, a nurse for lower than two years when the coronavirus struck, was shaken by the expertise. She mentioned her mother and sister helped information her via a interval throughout which she had a continuing feeling of doom whereas working nonstop in a unit “that noticed loads of demise.”

Shekeya and her mom each contracted COVID-19 however had gentle signs and recovered comparatively rapidly. LaToya, the mom of a 10-year-old son, didn’t get contaminated.

Novlet shared a narrative a couple of affected person pleading with Shekeya, telling her, “Don’t let me die.” Upon leaving the hospital that day, Novlet and her daughters prayed for the affected person, solely to be taught later the individual handed away.

“(Shekeya) was devastated,” remembered Novlet. “I used to be crying along with her and LaToya was comforting each of us. At that second we had one another to lean on.”

The continued well being disaster has suspended an annual medical mission journey Novlet, her husband and all three kids have been making to Jamaica since 2013. For one week every July, the household and a group of medical professionals and different volunteers from the New York space employees a pop-up clinic in Novlet’s hometown of Clarendon Parish the place they supply medical and dental care to its residents.

The humanitarian effort is financed by the LJDR Davis Basis — a nonprofit cofounded by Novlet and her sister, Pearlyn Clark — in partnership with the Catholic Well being Caregivers Fund. The inspiration was established in reminiscence of 4 of Novlet’s siblings, who died between the ages of 28 and 40, primarily on account of the nation’s lack of high quality well being care, Novlet mentioned.

“We offer free, unbiased medical care to everybody who needs and wishes the assistance,” Novlet mentioned, including that greater than 10,000 individuals have been served because the program started.

Though the mission journey was canceled in 2020 and this yr, Novlet stays dedicated to the trouble, arranging this previous January for clothes, meals, beds, wheelchairs and medical provides to be shipped to Jamaica.

Up to now, the journey to Jamaica gave Novlet and her household a possibility to take pleasure in a festive reunion along with her mom and different family members. Issues might be dramatically completely different this yr, although. The household might be going to Jamaica, not on a mission journey, however to attend the funeral of Novlet’s mother, who died in March of problems from pneumonia at age 94. Frances Amanda Davis might be buried in late Might.

Frances’ life story — one stuffed with many challenges that have been overcome via the energy of her character and deep Baptist religion — impressed Novlet final yr to writer a memoir devoted to her mom’s legacy known as “MAMA’S HEART.”

“I promised my mother that I used to be going to jot down her memoir,” defined Novlet. “She was such an inspirational lady and spiritual lady, a girl who feared God. Even via the deaths of her kids, she was nonetheless giving God the glory.

“It’s going to be a somber Mom’s Day this yr,” she added. “Hopefully, we may give her all of the honors she deserves.”

Novlet Davis-Bucknor, a nurse practitioner at St. Francis Hospital & Coronary heart Heart in Roslyn, N.Y., is seen aiding a girl in 2018 at a pop-up medical clinic she helped set up in her hometown, the Brandon Hill District of Clarendon Parish, Jamaica. (Photograph:CNS/courtesy LJDR Davis Basis)

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