Filipina Nurse Receives Gallantry Award From Queen Elizabeth

Image Credit: Aaron Chown / POOL / AFP via Inquirer

MANILA, Philippines – Filipina nurse May Parsons received the George Cross Award from UK’s Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles on July 12 at the Windsor Castle.

The said award is the highest one given by the British government for non-military gallantry that recognizes the “acts of the greatest heroism or of the most courage in circumstances of extreme danger”.

All eyes were on Parsons when she administered the world’s first Covid-19 vaccine on December 8, 2020 to patient Maggie Keenan.

Parsons was accompanied by National Health Service (NHS) chief executive Amanda Pritchard to represent the NHS staff, along with other frontliners.

NHS representatives Amanda Pritchard (back row 2nd from the left) and Nurse May Parsons (front row 2nd from the left) pose for a photo with Queen Elizabeth and Prince Charles after being awarded the George Cross at Windsor Castle
Image Credit: Aaron Chown/Pool via Rappler

Before the occasion, Parsons have said, “I am humbled and honoured to be representing the NHS with Amanda when we are awarded the George Cross – it takes hundreds of thousands of us to make the NHS what it is today and I am so grateful to be part of and attending this prestigious event on behalf of such a wonderful team of people – from nurses, doctors, healthcare assistants to many, many others.”

“Vaccinating Maggie with the first approved COVID-19 vaccine was a wonderful moment that I am so proud of – but that was only the beginning,” she added.

May Parsons with Maggie Keenan | Image Credit: May Parsons Facebook via Philippine Star

“I’m deeply honored to represent the wonderful and dedicated people within the NHS and Social Care who has shown up every day to care for our people and communities despite the challenges and sacrifices we’ve had to take posed by the COVID-19 Pandemic,” the University of Santo Tomas nursing graduate said.

“We remember our fallen colleagues who has 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.

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