Dr. Hollina Alfred: Who said – “Nothing good can come from Albouystown?”

By Leson Jones – Pepperpot Magazine

Dr. Hollina Alfred (Adrian Narine photo)

AS a young girl growing up in Albouystown, Dr. Hollina Alfred watched all the episodes of Grey’s Anatomy. After being thrilled by the television series, it fuelled her desire to become a medical doctor.

Of course, this was just one reason. Speaking with the Pepperpot Magazine, Alfred related that a personal experience also inspired her decision.

“After I saw my little brother struggling with overcoming seizures, the impact this had on my family at large was suffocating; we struggled emotionally and financially to ensure that he was taken care of,” she stated.   

Dr. Alfred is the eldest of five children who started from humble beginnings in Albouystown. Most of the residents of the community had already seen her as a doctor before she realised it. Children around the neighbourhood would frequently visit her home to have their cuts and bruises cleaned and dressed. Parents of the community would also go to her to for medical advice even before she got her medical licence.

Stellar performance
Alfred attended Central High School in Georgetown, graduating in 2013 with nine subjects at the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) examinations, including three distinctions, three grade ones, and three grade twos. Her outstanding performance won her many accolades and high praises from her school teachers and headteacher.
Immediately after high school, she wasted no time as she set her sights on becoming a doctor. Living in a one-bedroom home with her parents, four siblings, and her grandmother was just a fraction of the hardships the young Alfred faced on her journey to becoming a medical practitioner.

“Though times were tough during my childhood, I was determined to go the extra mile to realise my dreams,” she explained.

Both her parents, Kavita and Earl Alfred at that time could not afford to fund her tertiary education, but good things were in store. So it was no accident that months after, she received the Central High School Alumni Scholarship to further her studies.

One year after concluding her prerequisite course in Biology at the University of Guyana, she obtained the required Grade Point Average of 3.5 to take her studies further.

She immediately enrolled at the university to pursue a Bachelor of Science Degree in Medicine and General Surgery. During her semester (vacation) breaks at the academic institution, she constructively occupied her time by participating in the annual “Teens Camp” organised by the Full Gospel Church at Haruaruni on the Soesdyke-Linden Highway.

Alfred then did her internship in General Surgery at the Georgetown Public Hospital. It was a prerequisite part of her medical programme.

When asked about some of the challenges she had encountered after four years of being a doctor, she stated:

“Breaking the bad news to the patient and [the] patient’s relatives is the most challenging task to do.”

Her love for her profession has developed stronger as she assimilates new things daily. She relishes the gratification she feels after nursing a patient back to good health.

“Every day, I advise my patients on proper health practices and offer them advice on how to take full care of their bodies, whether old or young,” she recounted.

It is this good advice that makes her so busy, as patients usual flock her to provide service to them. Her career continued to blossom at the Georgetown Public Hospital, where she was awarded Best Presenter in the Interns’ Research Presentation in October 2018.

Her major immediate goal going forward is to complete her residency programme in order to take her career to the next level.

“Finding a cure for HIV/Aids and other diseases that plague our country today,” she said is one of her sought-after goals, as she continues to ply her trade at the Diamond Diagnostic Centre.

Advice to others

Reflecting on her challenges in life, the young doctor is urging all to embrace setbacks as they help to bring out the best in people.
Most days after a long day, she engages in making holiday cards and watching television series.
She believes her strength was inherited from her mother, whom she described as her role model.

“She gives selflessly to her children to ensure everything she couldn’t achieve or wasn’t available to her is achievable by us and readily available to us. I have seen my mother make a way in numerous unfortunate circumstances to get me through high school and the university. Happy to say that today all her efforts are manifested in my success to this point,” she expressed.

She also advised: “Never despise small beginnings. Never let material things or gain change your personality. Always be true to who you are. Wisdom without God is foolishness. Always remember to look up, smile, and give thanks to [him] because time is limited.”

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Comments

  • kamtanblog  On July 23, 2019 at 12:54 am

    What a wonderful story of a woman whose life is dedicated to helping the “sick” and infirmed . Salutations dear Hellina Alfred…
    you deserve the Nobel prize for your
    contribution to Guyana society. A mother Teresa in the making. May you live on in the minds and hearts of those you care for.
    Well done !

    Yep ! your purpose in life fulfilled.

    Kamtan

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