Mary Seacole

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Mary Seacole and Florence Nightingale were noted for their nursing care in the Victorian age. Seacole was soon forgotten while Nightingale became known as the founder of nursing. Mary Seacole was born in Kingston, Jamaica, in 1805. Her father was a white, Scottish-British soldier and her mother was a free Jamaican woman, who operated a boarding house for ill soldiers. Seacole gained the skills of care and traditional healing remedies from her mother (Mary Seacole, 2007). Later in her life, Mary Seacole carried her skills into Crimean War to nurse wounded soldiers on the battlefield. Although she suffered discrimination, she showed bravery and courage by continuing to save lives in many countries and in military operations during the Crimean War.

Mary Seacole had been through many tragedies in her own life. Seacole was married to Edwin Seacole in 1836. Mary and her husband traveled throughout the Central American and the Caribbean taking care of the sick and also to diagnosing and treating tropical diseases with her own herbal remedies (Mary Seacole, 2007). Her husband suffered an early death, and soon after Seacole’s mother also died. In 1844, she went back to Jamaica and took over her mother’s boarding house where she originally learned her nursing skills. Her personal tragedies, however, did not stop Seacole from serving her patients with care. In 1850, Seacole risked her own life to diagnose and treat the victims of cholera in Jamaica (Robinson, 2004). She showed the courage that nurses often have to save lives at the risk of their own. Soon after, she traveled to Panama and opened a boarding house with her brother. While in Panama, she cared for the victims of cholera and treated them with her herbal remedies. By 1852 she had returned to Jamaica, where she established a makeshift military hospital for British soldiers sickened by another yellow fever epidemic. Her contribution to fighting yellow fever was tremendous; she risked her own life to treat the...
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