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Bernadette Smith Flowers is first nurse to die of COVID-19 – Medical community mourns veteran’s loss

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Posted: Tuesday, September 28, 2021. 9:47 pm CST.

By Benjamin Flowers: On Monday, Bernadette Smith Flowers, a veteran rural health nurse with 32-years of service to Belize, passed away. Today the medical community, paid their respects to nurse Flowers for her decades of rendering much-needed, occasionally life-saving care to others.

Flowers passed away at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital while being treated for COVID-19 by her colleagues, and is the first nurse to die of COVID-19 in Belize. Following her passing, the Nurses and Midwives Council of Belize issued a statement expressing its condolences and offering “The Nightingale Tribute,” a special tribute made to a nurse at their passing in recognition of their years of service.

“Nurse Smith Flowers became a rural health nurse in December 1989 and worked at the Double Head Cabbage Village Health Center until her passing on September 27, 2021,” the Council said.

Breaking Belize News spoke earlier with Dr. Melissa Diaz, Deputy Regional Manager Central Health Region, who stressed that Nurse Flowers was a devoted nurse who was deeply rooted in the Maternal and Child Health Program of the Ministry of Health.

“This is definitely a loss for the Ministry of Health and we are devastated by her passing,” Dr. Diaz said. “We really want to make sure that her 32 years of service gets noticed and does not fall by the wayside because she was someone so dedicated and selfless when it came to helping her patients.”

Dr. Diaz noted that Flowers stood with all frontline workers when the COVID-19 pandemic hit Belize last year, and ensured that she participated in all the necessary training to deliver the best possible care under rapidly changing conditions.

A number of her nursing colleagues have also taken to social media, speaking on how dedicated she was to her profession and how relentless she was in her pursuit of helping others.

Breaking Belize News joins in expressing its sincerest condolences to the family, friends, colleagues, and patients affected by the death of Nurse Flowers.

May she rest in peace.

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