To the everyday person, a birthday is simply a day to celebrate one’s birth. A moment to recount the uncertainty-filled journey that one has lived over the period. A time to look back, reflect and appreciate yesteryear’s memories, and yet an opportunity to have a second look into the future and brace oneself for the hopes ahead.
To the nurse, however, birthdays present an opportunity to reassess the call to duty, the role to protect the dignity, sanctity and beauty of life. More so, for a paediatric health care professional, the idea of celebrating birth and life itself comes with a dutiful thinking toward care, and a sense of rekindled passion toward children.
On a certain 13th day of March, Nurse Tettegah was born in Tema. After years of schooling in Ashaiman, she moved on to train at the Cape Coast Nursing Training College. Today, she is a proud nurse, studying further at the Ghana College of Nurses and Midwives to become a specialist in paediatrics.
In an interview with Joyce yesterday, she recounted that birthdays “show how merciful God is.” She added that she was grateful for another year of life and wished for a healthy and fruitful long life.
In a somewhat nostalgic moment, she disclosed`, “I miss my dad…his calls on my birthday was the most important to me, because he always celebrates my birthday a day before the actual day. And he refuses to be corrected.” Nurse Tettegah lost her father recently, nearly a year after she had lost her mum.
Just as would have been expected from any other lady, Joyce would not disclose her age in her interview. She would however be disappointed to learn that what she thought was secret is actually out there.
When asked what she was doing for her birthday, the usual thing with nurses came up. She hinted that she would be working. In her final words, Joyce took the opportunity to pass a note of advocacy for the protection of children. “It is easier and economical to build a strong and healthy child than to fix a broken and violent man,” she said.
Nurse Tettegah turns 29 today. A happy birthday to you, Joyce. The nursing profession celebrates you.