The worst of times brings out the best in some people. Caring for the elderly
during a pandemic is not easy, but Meshea “Shea” Jackson,
LPN, makes it look that way. She works as a nurse at the Southeast Georgia
Senior Care Center in Brunswick. “If you approach this work with love and compassion,
it’s very rewarding. I have a unique bond with the residents and
their families. I know I’m making an impact on their lives. It doesn’t
even feel like a job,” Jackson says.
As she goes about her rounds, Jackson helps the CNAs who assist residents
with various daily tasks. She also distributes medication, performs facility-wide
COVID testing, advocates for residents and keeps communication flowing
between families and their relatives. “When the families call and
ask for me, I know they trust and appreciate the work I’m doing,”
Her efforts are also appreciated by her Director of Nursing, Diane Veiga.
“Shea is a caring, compassionate nurse who puts the residents and
the needs of the facility first. She works tirelessly with a never-ending
smile while assisting with facility-wide COVID testing, providing residents
with exemplary care and supporting her teammates.”
Caring for her co-workers comes naturally for Jackson. “I love the
staff. We share similar values and a focus on quality care.” She’s
grateful to her employer, too. “During this stressful time, it’s
nice to work for people who understand.”
A Nurturing Nature
Jackson’s love of service began in childhood. “When my father
was diagnosed with sickle cell anemia, my sister and I helped with his
medication and grooming.” That experience, and her father’s
pride in her ability to care for him, planted a seed in Jackson’s
mind. She went on to attend nursing school at Coastal Pines Technical
College in Waycross before joining the Health System. She could not have
known that one day she would be on the frontlines of a pandemic, but Jackson
is glad to be making a difference during this historical time.
Silver Linings and Sacrifices
Jackson’s knack for finding the silver lining in every situation
even extends to COVID-19. “It has taught me to value time with my
family and friends, to not take anything for granted.” Although
her family reunion in Jamaica was cancelled, Jackson is grateful that
they organized a Zoom family reunion with a Jamaican theme.
Like most health care workers, her home life is impacted by the coronavirus.
When the outbreak began she taught her affectionate nine-year-old son
to not hug her until she changes out of her work scrubs. “I tell
him, ‘When Mommy has on blue, I’ll come to you.’”
Their time together is precious, and sometimes cut short. “He stays
with my mother when I’m working long hours.” Fortunately,
Jackson receives understanding and support from her tight-knit family,
several of whom work in health care.
Not taking things for granted extends to cleanliness, too. Jackson has
always been cautious, and urges the public to do the same. “Be careful,
wash your hands and wear your mask. Take care of yourself. This pandemic
can take a toll on your mental health.”
If the world seems to be falling apart at times, Jackson keeps herself
together with prayer and positive affirmations. “I try not to let
fear take over. I believe in God and I go out every day knowing I’m
With faith and fortitude, Shea Jackson goes forth, sharing her smile and
compassion with others. A smile and a positive attitude may not cure the
coronavirus, but they have the power to dispel fear when and where it’s
The public is encouraged to write to residents of the Senior Care Centers.
Send cards and letters to: Resident, c/o Senior Care Center, 2611 Wildwood
Dr., Brunswick, GA 31520, or to Resident, c/o Senior Care Center, 805
Dilworth St., St. Marys, GA 31558.