Isherna Lewis

Isherna Lewis, Operating Department Practitioner, London UK

Be happy with your chosen career, money is not everything!

Tell me anything about yourself

I am the 2nd of 4 siblings. I am a very independent driven individual. I am a perfectionist, so in all things I do I aim for the best.

I am an aunt to 3, god mother to 2 and I try my best to always be there and provide because I take both those roles seriously.

How would you describe your immediate family

Close and chaotic. Especially now during this pandemic we are currently experiencing, I speak to my parents every day after I finish work.

It’s their way of making sure I am fine physically and mentally. I have not physically seen my family for two months now, as I refuse to risk anyone’s health due to the job I do. But I’m thankful for FaceTime and WhatsApp.

What does your name mean and do you feel you live up to it

My dad named me and as far as I know, it has no meaning. But I love my name, and I love how people are always fascinated by it.

In another life what would you come back as

I have never thought of this, and now I am thinking about it I have no idea. I would like to say something profound. Maybe someone who can and will make a difference.

Tell me something that made you smile or laugh recently

Spoke to my niece and nephew (3&5) Sunday, and they started clapping for me while we face-timed. They are very aware and it made me smile that they understand what their tata is doing and why she has not been around.

What is your favourite animal

Cats, even though I am allergic I still love and want one.

Tell me something that scares you (we won’t tell anyone ssssshhh)

Spiders. I just hate them with a passion and I hate multiple holes, makes my skin crawl *shivers*

When do you normally feel your happiest

When I am reading. I just need to get lost in the fiction world and forget all that is happening around me. Other times I indulge in self-help books, relationship and pro black books.

How do you deal with stress and anxiety

Reading and eating ice cream. I try not to dwell on things for too long, but I sometimes do. Best thing is, I am great at masking it so you will never know my true feelings.

How do you celebrate your achievements

I do not really like attention. If my family or friends do not push me, I wouldn’t acknowledge any.

What made you decide to start your profession

I have always found healthcare fascinating. Having worked 16 years for the NHS, I finally made the choice to work in the surgical department which is the best decision I have made.

The teamwork in theatres is like no other, no one is more important that the next. If one team member is not there the surgery cannot take place. Plus it’s an added bonus to work in one of the busiest hospitals in London because I cannot be idle, I lose interest fast.

What do you love about your role

That I am autonomous in my role, I work alongside the anesthetist in the anesthetic room. That room is my domain, and what goes on in there is governed by me.

I love that day by day, we can safely put patients to sleep, keep them alive during the operation and successfully wake them up after.

What are the typical challenges you face in your role

How often I attend trauma calls seeing young black boys coming in with stabbings and gunshot wounds. Just breaks my heart that this is the new normal, and makes me even more scared for my little brother, I am often telling him do not go out but what kind of life is that?

Where do you see yourself in 5 years

I can honestly say I do not know. Just alive and thriving.

Would you have done anything differently in your career path

No, I am happy with what I have achieved so far in my life.

I work for one of the largest employers in the world. As long as I can work and get a salary legally, I am content in life.

Do you have any pearls of wisdom you wish to share

Be happy with your chosen career, money is not everything. We spend most of our adult lives at work, if you wake up each day not wanting to go in, maybe its time you make some changes.

Finally this is the moment to shout out to a few people who have really encouraged, supported or even taking a gamble on you to allow your current success

My parents first and foremost, my mum Daphnie, my dad Stone. My cousins Diane and Erica.

My friends Shalando Ingram, Joannah Richards and Tanya Blake. They have always, no matter what, encouraged and guided me to this day. This is what you call a support system and I am ever so thankful I have the best.

How can the skills you’ve acquired help to benefit Montserrat

My last visit, I wanted to enquire. But due to covid-19 everything went on lockdown so I never had the chance.

What can we look forward to next from you

Well my plan may be to go on and specialise within my field. My interest has been piqued to join the organ retrieval team, but I need to do more research on this. Apart from that, just live my life as happy and care free as much as I can.

What’s the best thing about Montserrat in your eyes

The quiet, the community togetherness, the greenery and tranquility.

What do you look forward to when going to Montserrat

Relaxing and just doing nothing. Living in and working in one of the 5 trauma hospitals in London, it makes one beyond tired. I love to go home, and just be. Sit on the veranda, drink a cup of tea and meditate.

What’s your favourite place to eat/ favourite thing to eat when you are in Montserrat

I went home this year March and Summer Breeze was perfect for someone like me. Sadly, there are not much vegetarian options on island, and I wasn’t in the mood to cook while I was on there.

Summer Breeze’s vegetarian dishes were delicious, though I can understand why they did not produce as much as the meat dishes.

What would you love to see for Montserrat in 10 years

Just development of my country for the betterment of future generations. I left there when I was 11 so my knowledge of what’s going on is not so vast. I do try and keep up to date now and again, but when I do visit, I’m always amazed how frozen in time we are.

Tell me one thing Montserrat can do to encourage you to return

Better job opportunities within the health industry. I specialise in surgery so if they can offer me that then my decision to return home is solidified in an instant.

Finally, when you think of Montserrat, how does it make you feel

Proud and at peace. I travel a lot, but nothing beats going home and rejuvenating all my energy. Some people love to always be on the go wherever they go, but I need peace and quiet when I go home. I cannot go home tired and come back to the UK tired.


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