COVID-19 survivor thanks KPH
HARRIOTT... the doctors and nurses are like angels from heaven
Sagicor commended for committing 2022 Sigma Run funds to hospital

Denzmore Harriott has a great deal to be thankful for, and he is crediting the health-care professionals at Kingston Public Hospital (KPH) for helping him recover from the novel coronavirus.

The 45-year-old, who has comorbidities, including high blood pressure and an enlarged heart, tested positive for the virus and was admitted to the COVID-19 isolation ward at KPH in March 2021 for two weeks.

“After being in the hospital for the first two days, I started to feel very anxious. I was having severe chest pains and when I coughed my whole body shook … I was really wondering if I was going to survive this thing,” he shared.

Harriott described being on the COVID-19 isolation ward as emotionally draining, sharing that he even witnessed other COVID-19 patients succumbing to the disease.

“It was difficult being isolated and not being able to see my loved ones,” he said.

However, Harriott noted that as best as possible the nursing staff “do their best to make you feel at home…otherwise you will feel like you are on a deserted island.”

“The doctors and nurses are attentive… they were like angels from heaven. Being on the ward, you could see that there were others who were in more critical condition than I was. Nevertheless, they made every effort to check on me regularly and give me the personal care and attention I needed — both physically and emotionally. A hospital is not a place you would want to go, but while I was there, everyone took good care of me,” said Harriott, who had undergone surgery at KPH in 2018.

Harriott, who is the main breadwinner for his family of five — his four children and wife — said he knows that the hospital operates with limited resources and has it challenges, but he believes it is the “sheer resilience and dedication of the hospital staff that help a large percentage of the patients recover from their illnesses”.

Having formed friendships with some of the hospital staff, Harriott said he heard the news of KPH being named the main beneficiary of this year's Sagicor Sigma Corporate Run, which has been pushed back due to the onset of the fourth wave of the pandemic currently affecting Jamaica.

“There is so much more that can be done to help the KPH, so I am very happy that the Sagicor Sigma Run will be raising funds for the hospital. If the facilities are improved, then it might make the workload of the staff easier to manage. I have seen nurses doing up to three shifts back-to-back just to make sure we survived COVID; they do their best to help patients and they deserve so much more credit for all that they do,” he shared.

The annual charity road race was previously announced to be held in February with three race events — a virtual run, a corporate team 'bubble' run, and an invitational run scheduled to help raise funds for KPH.

“For the safety of our participants, as well as our team, we have taken a decision to push back all the activities for this year's event until we are in a much better position to assess this fourth wave” said Alysia White, executive director of the Sagicor Foundation.

Over the past two decades the Sigma Corporate Run has raised $500 million for numerous charities, primarily focused on giving back to healthcare, education, and child-related institutions.

“As we continue to assess the situation to reschedule the event dates, our focus now more than ever will be on driving donations from corporate companies, individuals and our diaspora community,” said White.

The Sagicor Foundation has set a fund-raising target of $50 million to procure live-saving medical equipment for KPH. Individuals and corporate companies can make a donation via the following methods: Cheque payment made out to Sagicor Foundation Jamaica; direct deposit to the Foundation's Sagicor Bank account – 5502907486; payment using a credit card online at www.sagicorsigmarun.com; donating Sagicor Bank credit card reward points or by purchasing branded athletic wear from the Sagicor Sigma Run Shop.

For more information on ways to donate and support the cause, individuals can contact the Sigma Run Secretariat at 876-936-7980-2 or e-mail at SGJSigmaSecretariat@sagicor.com

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