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Doctor dream spurred on by life experiences

Gabrielle Cumberbatch

Gabrielle Cumberbatch’s first-hand experience has led her to pursue the field of Medicine.

Last week she was announced as one of the Islands’ 18 Barbados Exhibition winners. She obtained three Grade 1 passes in Chemistry, Biology and Caribbean Studies and a Grade 2 in Mathematics.

A very elated Cumberbatch told Barbados TODAY it was her hope to go to University of the West Indies Mona Campus. She said she worked extremely hard but it was her aim to win a scholarship. The 18 year old said when she found out she did not, she cried for three days.

However, upon reflection, she said, she realised she could still have the opportunity to achieve her ultimate goal — that was to touch the lives of families and put smiles on their faces.

Always a lover of children, Cumberbatch said that while at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital to visit her cousin, Jesse, who was born prematurely she would watch as joy overwhelmed parents who were able to embrace their babies and in some cases, take them home.

Though he was touched, it took a more cherished experience for her to realise that her ultimate goal was to study pediatric and neonatology.

Three years ago, the then 15 year old student at the Queen’s College School watched as her baby brother, Ethan, laid helplessly in a cot in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at the QEH only able to assist him with her prayers.

“When he came out he had to get a blood transfusion, he had very bad jaundice and as a result they kept him in NICU for two weeks. Initially it was scary as a sister, not knowing what would happen to my little brother. I know in some cases there are parents who may feel their children would not live, I was young and afraid. Ethan is now a normal happy, hyper little boy who gives trouble and I love him.

“That developed my love from there. My goal is to help as many children as possible; put smiles on parents faces when they get to carry home their children. I want to share as much love as I can and do for others what doctors did for my family. There is only one neonatologist at the QEH, so there would definitely be room for me,” she said. (KC)

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