Leila Yates

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Leila Yates
Leila Yates, Cayman Islands Nurse.jpg
Born Irksie Leila Yates
(1899-08-19)19 August 1899
West Bay District, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands
Died 12 January 1996(1996-01-12) (aged 96)
Nationality Caymanian
Occupation nurse, midwife
Years active 1919-1971

Leila Yates (1899-1996) was a pioneering nurse and midwife from the Cayman Islands. She has been recognized on a stamp in the 2011 series "Pioneers in our History" and in 2015 was posthumously honored with the National Heroes Award. Her home has been the focus of a restoration project for the National Trust’s West Bay Committee.

Early life[edit]

Irksie Leila Yates was born on 19 August 1899 in the West Bay District on Grand Cayman in the Cayman Islands[1] to Jacintha (née Morrison) and Arthur Yates.[2] Yates was the youngest of six children and though she enjoyed playing on the beaches as a child, was asthmatic. Hers was the first house on the island to have glass panes installed. Encouraged by her sister, Yates wanted to study nursing, but her mother objected.[3] Determined to become a nurse, she walked daily from West Bay to George Town for her training. Her initial studies began in 1917 with Dr. George Overton,[2] the only doctor on the island.[4]

Career[edit]

By 1919, Yates had completed her training and began as a home care nurse, traveling to her patients' homes to assist with their needs.[1] In 1921, she began studying midwifery[2] and completed her training in 1923, when she delivered her first baby.[4] During the malaria epidemic in 1931, Yates served as head government nurse.[5] Because there was no government hospital, almost all of her care services before 1952 when the Cayman Hospital was built, were provided in her patient's homes.[4][6]

In 1959 Yates opened a private nursing clinic in her home in West Bay[5] and continued to see patients in her home or their own homes.[2] In her later years, she worked as a reporter writing a regular column "This Week in West Bay" for the newspaper, Caymanian Weekly.[7] Yates retired in 1971, having delivered more than 1,000 babies.[2]

Death and legacy[edit]

Yates died on 12 January 1996. In 2006, her home was purchased by the National Trust of the Cayman Islands to honor her achievements in nursing and preserve the culturally significant building, as the National Trust's only original wattle and daub dwelling.[8][1] In 2011, Yates was recognized with a stamp depicting her likeness as a part of the series "Pioneers in our History".[4] In 2015 she was honored at the National Heroes Awards ceremony, recognizing Caymanians who helped to develop health services for the Islands.[2] In 2016, her columns from the 1966 Caymanian Weekly are being re-run in the Cayman Compass as a weekly series called "50 years ago".[9][10][11]

References[edit]

Citations[edit]

Bibliography[edit]

  • Daniel, Erica (8 February 2010). "Nurse Leila Yates–our Lady with the Lamp". George Town, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands: The Cayman Compass. Archived from the original on 2 December 2016. Retrieved 2 December 2016.
  • Spence, Monique (4 April 2015). "Paradise Discovered: Nurse Leila". George Town, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands: The Cayman Reporter. Archived from the original on 2 December 2016. Retrieved 2 December 2016.
  • Winker, Carol (1 December 2011). "Stamps celebrate Cayman pioneers". George Town, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands: The Cayman Compass. Archived from the original on 2 December 2016. Retrieved 2 December 2016.
  • "50 years ago: Downed pole causes power outage". George Town, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands: The Cayman Compass. 2 May 2016. Archived from the original on 2 December 2016. Retrieved 2 December 2016.
  • "50 years ago: Faith Home's West Bay connection endures". George Town, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands: The Cayman Compass. 22 August 2016. Archived from the original on 24 August 2016. Retrieved 2 December 2016.
  • "50 years ago: Sailors head to Curacao". George Town, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands: The Cayman Compass. 21 November 2016. Archived from the original on 22 November 2016. Retrieved 2 December 2016.
  • "Cayman Islands' Pioneers". George Town, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands: iEyenews. 16 November 2011. Archived from the original on 2 December 2016. Retrieved 2 December 2016.
  • "Fundraiser announced to turn Cayman Islands heritage home into arts & crafts". George Town, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands: iEyenews. 29 December 2014. Archived from the original on 14 December 2015. Retrieved 2 December 2016.
  • "Landmarks: Nurse Leila's historic home". George Town, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands: The Cayman Compass. 3 November 2015. Archived from the original on 2 December 2016. Retrieved 2 December 2016.
  • "A pioneering journalist remembers". George Town, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands: The Cayman Compass. 6 October 2010.
  • "We celebrate Nurse Leila Yates". National Trust Cayman Islands on Instagram. George Town, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands: National Trust Cayman Islands. 25 January 2015. Archived from the original on 2 December 2016. Retrieved 2 December 2016.