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Mary Seacole

Famous Nurses Who Made History

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Mary Seacole

Unofficial Nurse to Crimean War Soldiers (1805 to 1881) Mary Seacole was a free black Jamaican who was, at least 4 times, rejected from providing nursing aide to the British soldiers during the Crimean war because of her color. This was despite Florence Nightingales call for support of nursing. Rejections were the least thing that could stand against Mary Seacole from tending to the wounded British and Jamaican soldiers. Seacole funded herself and headed for Crimea. Unlike Nightingale, whose hospitals were far from the battlefields, Mary Seacole did her work right where war was taking place. Equipped with no formal nursing training, and only with the healing practice that she learned from her mother and with herbal medicines, she tended to the British soldiers. She also established a facility that provided caregivers, medical attention, food as well as comfortable place for the sick and wounded, all at her expense. For these loving provision and care, she was loved by the soldiers despite her race. When the Crimean War ended, Seacole was broke and ill. Well wishers rallied to her aid, through which she was able to live the rest of her life prosperous. Mary Seacole was awarded medals for her bravery and unselfish acts. And in 1881, the brave Jamaican nurse passed away.


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