WILLEMSTAD - Our Jurgen Lacruz a 32-year old Registered Nurse tending to COVID-19 patients at a hospital Intensive Care Unit in both Curaçao and St. Maarten, who later contracted the virus himself, is among regional winners in this year’s inaugural Unsung Frontline Heroes initiative.
The program, designed by CIBC FirstCaribbean through its ComTrust Foundation to unearth the work of persons across the region at the forefront of the COVID-19 fight, has brought to light the stories of many of those whose deeds have gone virtually untold. Over 100 persons were nominated for awards.
The personal journeys of individuals such as Jurgen Lacruz of Curaçao, have also shone the spotlight on the challenges and sacrifices being made by frontline workers every day to battle the pandemic. However, based on the overwhelming feedback of the public and panels of judges in each jurisdiction where the bank operates, the winners have been firmly endorsed as national treasures.
Earlier this year, Jurgen was sent to St. Maarten to assist patients at the St. Maarten Medical Center. Unfortunately, during his assignment there, he contracted COVID-19. When his medical condition worsened, he was flown back home via air ambulance to receive specialized help at the hospital where he works, the Curaçao Medical Center. Thankfully, he has returned to the frontline where he continues to serve his profession with distinction. Jurgen openly shared his experience on social media and since then along with some of his colleagues, has produced many awareness videos on social media to inform people in Curaçao about the dangers of COVID-19.
This is just one of the many stories of selflessness that have emerged thanks to the initiative by CIBC FirstCaribbean.
Chief Executive Officer and Chair of the FirstCaribbean International Comtrust Foundation, Colette Delaney, noted that the COVID-19 pandemic has led, in many ways, to the re-emergence of the spirit of unity and caring that is an endearing feature of Caribbean people. “We are grateful to the contributions of these modern-day heroes, but we know that there are many more who may not have not been singled out but are just as important as they go about working quietly to create the pathways towards health and safety once again for all of us. We remain forever grateful to our first responders for being sources of inspiration and for the good that they do that has made all the difference.”
Presentation ceremonies are currently being conducted throughout the region in strict observance of all protocols for social distancing and public gatherings.
Jugen Lacruz received an E-Check for US$2,000 toward a staycation at a local hotel of his choice. Jurgen chose to share the staycation with a couple of good friends who stand by hom through thick and thin, and for sure during the challenging time he faced. CIBC FirstCaribbean also honored Raichel SintJacoba and Jonathan Locadia with ana e-check for a staycation as candidates that scored for a second and thrird place. A full listing of regional winners are posted on all of the bank’s social media platforms and corporate website at www.cibcfcib.com
Photo: Lysaira Ortela (Marketing Manager CIBC FirtsCaribbean) handing Jurgen Lacruz hos e-check as the winner of the CIBC FirstCaribbean Unsung Frontline Heroes in Curaçao.