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Mother’s Day Special for Mom and Two Daughters, All St. Francis Nurses Who Fought COVID Together

May 5, 2021
Novlet Davis

ROCKVILLE CENTRE, NY — Mother’s Day is always special for Latoya Bucknor and Shekeya Washington. The sisters grew up in a large family led by their loving mother, Novlet. Mother’s Day is an important day to reflect on all Novlet has done for them.

The best part? To see her they just walk down the hall at Catholic Health’s St. Francis Hospital & Heart Center®. 

Their mom, Novlet Davis, is a nurse practitioner in the Cardiothoracic Surgery Department. Latoya is a nurse practitioner on the Critical Care Team, and Shekeya is a registered nurse in the Medical Intensive Care Unit. All at St. Francis!

“There are some days when all three of us are in the car riding to work together,” said Latoya.  “It would be easy to take this time together for granted, but we really enjoy being with each other.” 

This was especially true during the COVID-19 pandemic when the three were working together, often on the same units. Latoya and Shekeya would frequently turn to their mom for support. 

“Some of the days were so long and challenging that I would just come home, climb in my mom’s bed and cry,” said Shekeya. “She has always been there for us, but I honestly don’t know what I would have done without her during the pandemic.” 

Their time together doesn’t stop when they leave the hospital. Novlet has instilled a sense of giving back in her daughters. This is exemplified by the annual mission trip that the family takes back to their hometown in Jamaica. 

Novlet lost her four of her siblings over the past several years.  In their memory, she created the LJDR Davis Foundation, which along with the Catholic Health Caregivers Fund, provides resources and supplies for the trips.  

“I grew up very poor, so no matter where I’ve gone or what I’ve done I’ve always tried to help those who helped me early in life,” said Novlet. “This mission trip is so special to our family and we’ve received incredible support from St. Francis. We’ve had doctors and nurses from the hospital join us on the trip each year. With everyone’s help we’ve been able to set up a medical clinic to provide free care to 1,500 people a week each time we’re there.” 

As they prepare for Mother’s Day in 2021, the celebrations will be a little different. Novlet’s mother passed away recently at the age of 94. The family will be traveling back to Jamaica at the end of May for the funeral. 

“My mother lived a long, beautiful life and we just felt this year, the best way to observe Mother’s Day was to spend time with all of our family,” said Novlet.  

Although it’s a bittersweet moment, Novlet and her two daughters will draw strength from having their family by their side, just like they do for each other back home at St. Francis.