A 44-year-old Filipino nurse has been hailed as the “Nurse of the Year” in the United Kingdom (UK).
Ridel Francisco is the Unit Manager at Lynde House in Richmond. Over 1,500 nurses all over the UK were nominated for the award, including those working in private hospitals, care homes, and the government’s National Health Service (NHS) – but it was Francisco who bagged the “Nurse of the Year” at the 2018 Barchester Care Awards.
“Napakasaya ko. I’m proud of it, of my hard work in the UK,” said Francisco. He revealed that he’s been working in the UK for 13 years.
“I’m very proud being a Filipino. Una sa UK, maraming Filipino nurses at nai-represent ko ang hard work at dedication ng mga Filipino, which is very known na mahuhusay na nurses sa UK at sa iba pang bansa.”
Photo credit: ABS-CBN News
What makes Francisco even more inspiring is that he had humble roots as the son of onion farmers in Bongabon, Nueva Ecija.
“Magsisibuyas kami. ‘Yun ang pangunahin naming hanapbuhay doon. I came from farming as well. Nagtatanim ako ng sibuyas, palay at nagsikap ang magulang ko na mapagtapos ako as a nurse,” he shared.
After graduating from college, Francisco worked for the Department of Health (DOH) in Cabanatuan. In 2006, he grabbed the opportunity to work in the UK – and his hard work definitely paid off as he was recognized this year for all his efforts.
According to Francisco, he went abroad to provide a better life for his family. While working in the UK, he was able to send his younger siblings to college – one of his siblings is now a nurse like him while two were teachers.
Now a father of three, Francisco dedicates his award to his family and to the Philippines. He aims to encourage everyone to reach for their dreams even though they are poor.
“Ang kahirapan ay ‘di hadlang para maabot mo ang ganitong antas ng pamumuhay. Hindi rin lang matataas na paaralan ang magbibigay sa iyo ng tagumpay. Basta graduate ka at may pagsisisikap ka, may pangarap ka sa buhay, maaabot mo,” he said.