Hos­pi­tal staff and pa­tients stunned by death of col­league

Jamaica Gleaner - - FRONT PAGE - Ed­mond Camp­bell Se­nior Gleaner Writer SEE FULL STORY ON­LINE: www.ja­

“THERE WAS not a dry eye – ev­ery­one was cry­ing,” Er­rol Greene, chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer of the Kingston Pub­lic Hos­pi­tal (KPH), de­scribed how the staff at one of the largest de­part­ments at the health fa­cil­ity re­acted to news yes­ter­day that 40-year-old oph­thal­mol­o­gist Sonya Kay Forbes died trag­i­cally Wed­nes­day night.

She was found dead on her bed­room floor with a stab wound to her ab­domen.

Ac­tiv­i­ties were scaled down at the Oph­thal­mol­ogy Department yes­ter­day as Dr Forbes’ col­leagues strug­gled to come to grips with the pass­ing of a woman who many said had a “pas­sion for life”. The doc­tors and nurses at the eye clinic are ex­pected to re­sume reg­u­lar du­ties to­day.

Head of the Cor­po­rate Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Unit of the Ja­maica Con­stab­u­lary Force, Su­per­in­ten­dent Stephanie Lind­say, who told The Gleaner that Forbes had been found dead on her bed­room floor with a stab wound, said the po­lice are now in­ves­ti­gat­ing the cir­cum­stances un­der which she died.

Se­nior med­i­cal of­fi­cer (SMO) at the KPH, Dr Na­talie Whylie, told The Gleaner yes­ter­day that Com­mis­sioner of Po­lice Ge­orge Quallo, who has had a close re­la­tion­ship with the KPH for years, ac­com­pa­nied her Wed­nes­day night to Cun­ning­ham Av­enue, Kingston 5, where Dr Forbes’ life­less body was dis­cov­ered.

“I am con­fi­dent in the ca­pac­ity and the abil­ity of the po­lice to do their job, so I leave polic­ing to them,” Whylie said.

The SMO said that the en­tire Oph­thal­mol­ogy Department was blind­sided when the man­age­ment of the hos­pi­tal re­vealed that their team mem­ber was dead. Oph­thal­mol­o­gist Sonya Kay Forbes was found dead on Wed­nes­day.

“They were in shock; they were dev­as­tated. The pa­tients, too, were dev­as­tated,” she said.


Two chap­lains, one from the Ja­maica Con­stab­u­lary Force and the other from the Ja­maica De­fence Force, pro­vided grief coun­selling for the staff yes­ter­day.

Rem­i­nisc­ing about her late col­league, Whylie said that Forbes had a very ef­fer­ves­cent per­son­al­ity. With com­pelling phys­i­cal beauty, the SMO said that Forbes was a ‘fash­ion­ista’ who was al­ways “well put to­gether – high heels, make-up, hair well done; ex­cel­lent doc­tor, and very good sur­geon.

“She was a bril­liant and beau­ti­ful girl who was very out­go­ing, very car­ing, and very lov­ing.”

The som­bre mood among staff and pa­tients who knew Dr Forbes was ev­i­dent as The Gleaner team met and spoke with doc­tors and nurses in the department through which she had of­fered ded­i­cated ser­vice to mem­bers of the pub­lic over the last 10 years.

Michelle Rose, a pa­tient who was treated by Forbes, was stunned by the news of her death.

“She just nice to me and talk nice to me. Mi love her.” Ac­cord­ing to Rose, af­ter re­ceiv­ing med­i­cal at­ten­tion from Forbes, her eye­sight has im­proved re­mark­ably.

Dr Forbes, the mother of one child, was also her par­ents’ only child.



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