Marie Lyne St Fleur has served as the nurse for Grace Emmanuel School since the fall of 2015. Over the last three years, she has poured herself completely into the task of improving the health of everyone at the school.
In a country with abysmal access to health care, Marie Lyne has become the primary point of health care for all 368 students at Grace Emmanuel School, plus many JiHM staff members. At the GES nurse’s office, she is the receptionist, the pharmacist, the nurse, and the doctor. She is also the advocate for students who need more assistance than she can provide, visiting hospitals and calling doctors to track down the best solution for everything from broken arms, hernias, and epilepsy to sickle-cell anemia, congenital heart defects, and vision problems.
She feels specifically called to the students served by Grace Emmanuel School. “Their parents don’t have education and most of the them have no one to pay for them to see a doctor or even to get to a clinic.”
Marie Lyne began as a kindergarten teacher at Grace Emmanuel School in 2008. “When I started teaching, I didn’t know how to help injured and sick kids. Sometimes I would cry because they had problems and I didn’t know how to help them.”
She resolved that one day she would have the knowledge to help them. A decade later, she is a qualified and educated nurse who is making a huge impact in the lives of those same students.
A tireless advocate
On a normal day, Marie Lyne arrives at school early in the morning and stays late into the afternoon. On days when she is accompanying a student to a doctor’s appointment or rushing from hospital to hospital to try to find emergency services, she works late into the night.
Marie Lyne has a passion for educating students about their health, as well as parents and caregivers so they are equipped to raise healthier kids, even where basic necessities are lacking. Her careful monitoring of underweight students is helping many overcome the harmful effects of malnutrition.
This past week after months of planning and data gathering, Marie Lyne began a hygiene and nutrition program for the families of students she identified as having the most need. She invited a specific set of parents with students who have recurring skin infections to come to her office for lessons on how to better care for their children’s hygiene.
The greatest reward
Because of the way Marie Lyne serves with all her heart, mind, and strength, she was chosen as JiHM’s Employee of the Year for 2018.
“Many times she returns to her house really late,” said Roger Carole, JiHM’s director of operations. “It doesn’t matter the day of the week either, whether it’s Saturday, Sunday. This ministry is really blessed by her.”
Marie Lyne was shocked when she heard her name announced last month as the recipient of the award. And though she felt very honored, her greatest reward is seeing children living healthier lives and finding relief from their suffering.
“When I’m counseling a child with a sickness, and they start to feel better and tell me that, I really love that,” said Marie Lyne.
Congratulations, Marie Lyne! Thank you for your hard work.
To read more about Marie Lyne’s story, check out Serving Students in Sickness and Health, from September 2015.