Above and Beyond: Filipino Nurse May Parsons Is Awarded for Her Bravery by Queen Elizabeth II - The Scene

Parsons administered the world’s first approved and fully tested COVID vaccine in the UK.

In December 2020, a Filipino nurse administered the world’s first fully approved COVID vaccine (Pfizer-BioNTech) to 90-year-old Margaret Keenan. Delivered at a local hospital in Coventry, UK, nurse May Parsons became part of history.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Asian Journal (@asianjournal)

READ ALSO: The Master: Filipino Chef Earns Michelin Star For Japanese Restaurant In Florida

For her service to the UK, which sparked hope worldwide, Parsons was given the George Cross by Queen Elizabeth II. Awarded on July 12 as UK’s National Health Service (NHS) representative, she is one of the 1.5 million staff members of NHS England.

During the ceremony, Parsons was accompanied by NHS England’s chief executive Amanda Pritchard.

Awarded for courage

“The George Cross was instituted in 1940 by King George VI for ‘acts of the greatest heroism or of the most courage in circumstances of extreme danger.’ It is the UK’s highest award for non-military courage,” The Royal Family shared in a tweet. “This award recognises all NHS staff, past and present.”

Three more George Cross medals were awarded to frontline representatives from UK nations Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland.

According to Skynews, Queen Elizabeth, 96, was relaxed during the ceremony and even bantered with the NHS awardees. “You’re still alive?” Her Majesty joked when told about Parson’s achievement.

In response, the Global Healthcare Management graduate said, “We’re terribly, terribly proud of the vaccination rollout; it was so successful.”

“Yes, it was amazing,” the Queen replied.

Above and beyond

In a statement, Parsons said hospital workers and their communities went “above and beyond” to look after patients despite risks. “Across health and care, staff sacrificed so much to look after those in need,” she added. “The George Cross is a fitting tribute to them all,” she said.

Parsons earned her nursing degree from the University of Santo Tomas in 2000. She worked at the UST hospital for three years before moving to the UK in 2003. Per Daily Nurse, she recently finished further studies at the Coventry University School of Nursing Midwifery and Health.

Parsons is a modern matron (or senior nurse) for respiratory at University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire Trust.

Banner photo by Hulki Okan Tabak on Unsplash.

Shop for LIFESTYLE ASIA’S magazines through these platforms.
Download LIFESTYLE ASIA’s digital magazines from:
Subscribe via [email protected]