A Filipina nurse was among the representatives of the United Kingdom (UK) health workers to receive the George Cross, highest courage award for UK civilians.
May Parsons, a Filipina senior nurse, received the highest award for gallantry on behalf of the 1.5 million staff of the UK National Health Service (NHS) England. Three more George Cross were given to three more representatives from Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland.
Back in 2020, May was the nurse who administered the first COVID-19 vaccine.
May received the George Cross from UK’s Queen Elizabeth II accompanied by Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales, at the Windsor Castle last July 12.
In a post from the official Facebook account of the Royal Family, the George Cross is the UK’s highest award for non-military courage. It represents “acts of the greatest heroism or the most courage in circumstances of extreme danger.”
The post explained that the award from the Royal Family was made to honor the representatives and staff of the UK’s National Health Service.
“It is with great pleasure on behalf of a grateful nation, that I award the George Cross to the National Health Services of the United Kingdom,” they posted.
Filipina nurse recognizes the services and sacrifices of her colleagues
In a Facebook post, May shared how grateful she is for the opportunity to represent the UK’s NHS. She also recognized their dedication and sacrifices during the pandemic.
She wrote, “I’m deeply honoured to represent the wonderful and dedicated people within the NHS and Social Care who have shown up everyday to care for our people and communities despite the challenges and sacrifices we’ve had to take posed by the Covid-19 Pandemic.”
The nurse also honored their fallen heroes who risked their lives to be of service to others.
“We remember our fallen colleagues who have given the ultimate sacrifice and I cannot be more proud of our achievements as a whole. The George Cross is a fitting tribute as we continue to fulfil our pledge to care and to serve our communities,” she added.
May flew to the UK in 2003. She graduated from the University of Santo Tomas in Manila and worked at the UST Hospital prior to working abroad. She’s a member of the Filipino Nurses Association United Kingdom.