Coconut Grove Clinic and Public Health Celebrate Patron’s 100th Birthday

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The Department of Public Health (DPH) celebrated the 100th birthday of client Mrs. Rhoda Johnson-Jackson on Thursday, February 14, 2008 at her residence on Claridge Road. Nursing Officer Assistant Supervisor, Aneka Johnson presented her with a gift basket. Mrs. Jackson’s daughter Ida Dean sits at her right. Standing from left are Community Worker Anishka Cartwright; Retired Community Nurse, Corlette Klass; Principal Nursing Officer DPH, Gloria Gardner; Registered Nurse Midwife, Shirley Smith; Health Aid Coral Jackson; Registered nurse, Braniska Lewis; Senior Nursing Officer, Sandra Colby; and Clark, Delcie Rolle. (Photo/Raymond Bethel)

By: Llonella Gilbert

NASSAU, Bahamas –
Nurses from the Coconut Grove Clinic and representatives from the Department of Public Health helped Mrs. Rhoda Johnson Lightbourn celebrate her 100th birthday on Valentine’s Day.

If one asks Mrs. Lightbourn to what she owes her longevity, she will tell you it is the hard work she performed since the age of 12.

Her first job was at St. Matthews Anglican Church, but she has also worked in the field, hooked sponge, caught crawfish, worked in the tourism industry, washed clothes, cooked, and baked.

Mrs. Lightbourn has 11 children of her own, plus five children her deceased husband had from a previous marriage.  Seven of her 11 children are still alive.

Nursing Officer II, D. Aneka Johnson, one of the organisers of the birthday celebration, explained that she was surprised to learn Mrs. Lightbourn was 99 when she met her last year.

“I was so excited to meet her and to see that someone at her age is doing so well,” Nurse Johnson said.  “She is absolutely amazing.”

Nurse Johnson said she promised Mrs. Lightbourn that the Clinic and the Department of Public Health would help celebrate her centenary.

“We want to look after our elderly,” she said.  “We need to honour and celebrate them, and to make sure they are taken care of.”

Mrs. Lightbourn said the nurses from the clinic visit her at least once a month to check her pressure and to talk with her.  She explained that the only physical ailment she really suffers from is a weak heart.  She’s had heart surgery twice and uses a pacemaker.

However that does not slow Mrs. Lightbourn down.  She just recently cut back on working on her crafts, but stays busy doing work around the house and the yard.