DR Heather Little-White, one of Jamaica’s foremost nutritionists and pioneer of the popular Grace Kitchens Creative Cooking TV programme died in the Kingston Public Hospital (KPH) yesterday at approximately 6:00 pm. She was 60.
Dr Little-White, who lost the use of her legs after she was shot by a gunman on July 6, 1999 in Norbrook, had been ailing for some time. She was hospitalised some weeks ago, her brother Lennie Little-White, noted filmmaker and owner of MediaMix, told the Jamaica Observer last night.
“The impact of that gunshot meant that her body was not able to respond as well to treatment,” said Little-White, who added that his sister was first admitted to Andrew’s Memorial Hospital, then taken to KPH for an operation.
“You can’t say you see these things coming because you keep hoping,” Little-White said as he revealed that he and his sister’s husband had started making arrangements to take her home before her condition worsened two weeks ago.
Last night, the filmmaker praised the medical staff at both hospitals for the attention they gave to his sister who never let her disability stop her from travelling across Jamaica to impart her skills.
“She contributed to so many people’s lives, from domestic helpers whose members of parliament from both parties got her to teach them, to men who wanted to learn to cook, to her students at UTech. That’s comforting,” said Lennie Little-White.
“A lot of this went under the radar in empowering people to be better… that is how she impacted many people,” he said, adding that in addition to GraceKennedy, Dr Little-White worked with the Urban Development Corporation, the European Union and the School Feeding Programme.
Dr Little-White also gained added national attention when she joined the programme that sent the Reggae Boyz on their historic journey to World Cup glory in France in 1998.
Last night, communications consultant Carmen Patterson said she and Dr Little-White had been good friends from as long as she could remember.
“What I admired most about her was her strength, especially after her ordeal 13 years ago, and how she became an inspiration to everybody, especially persons who were disabled. I will miss her a lot,” said Patterson.