After losing both parents, amid pandemic, family starts fundraiser for hospitals in Jamaica and Maryland

The Watson family’s fundraiser will benefit National Chest Hospital in Jamaica, and Holy Cross Health in Maryland.

Phyllis and Keith Watson were both diagnosed with COVID-19 in Jamaica, in 2021, according to family members.

While they battled the virus, family members did everything they could to help.

But they ran into several challenges.

“In Jamaica, during that time, something as basic as a high flow oxygen machine was not available for my mom when she needed it, I know on this side that would be abundant,” daughter Dr. Jacqui Watson said. “Nowhere is perfect, when it comes to healthcare.”

“We lost both parents, within three weeks of each other.”

After receiving the devastating news, the Watson family later decided to channel their grief into action.

“During the memorial service, we said we were starting this foundation and we wanted to encourage people to support us and that we were going to host an event in Washington, D.C.,” Dr. Watson said. “For many reasons, it was a way to just keep going forward and have some good happen out of all of this.”

Family members have now raised more than $29,000, as part of that foundation, a year after the couple’s memorial service.

The foundation created uses parts of the couple’s name. “My dad’s middle name is Ralston, my mom’s middle name is Rosa. RalRosa is the name of the company they had in Jamaica called RalRosa Limited.”

The money raised will go to “two institutions that were instrumental in taking care of them, during a time they were most vulnerable.”

“The RalRosa Foundation will host its first fundraiser on June 25, 2022, with the proceeds going to support both National Chest Hospital, Jamaica, and Holy Cross Health, Maryland.”

“NCH will receive medical equipment from their wish list, to include portable ultrasound machine and spirometers.”

“We want to fill the gap, because we know it’s important to not just think about ourselves but it could be anybody. We got to experience it for ourselves, what it’s like not having and it had nothing to do with money,” Dr. Watson said. “It’s important for us to…work wherever we are, to make sure that our healthcare system and infrastructure is in place, to take care of anybody who needs care when they need it.”

Click here, to learn more about their campaign.

About the author

Journalist in the DMV (D.C., Maryland and Virginia)

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