Filipina nurse Joy Ongcachuy, a robotic lead nurse at the Royal London Hospital, was given an Office of the British Empire (OBE) Award along with 42 other professionals during Britain’s New Year Honours List 2019 on December 29, 2018.
Besides Ms. Ongcachuy, dedicated members of the MET police force and two other healthcare professionals also received the prestigious award for providing immediate treatments to the innocent victims of the London Bridge terror attacks in June 2017. British divers John Volanthen and Richard Stanton were also among the 42 OBE recipients who took part in a dangerous rescue mission of 13 people, including a football coach, after being trapped for 18 days at a Thailand cave last year.
Ongcachuy’s recognition was due to her immediate response to a stabbing and vehicle crashing violence of three Daesh-inspired attackers on London Bridge. The terrifying rampage left eight dead, including terrorist attackers and Filipino-British James McMullan. During the incident, Ongcachuy and her group were among the first responders at the crime scene according to state reports.
In a press statement by the National Health System of UK (NHS), Ongcachuy said “I was working the night shift that night and I heard the anesthetist’s bleep go off. We already had a really sick patient in one of our theatres. So I had to get our other theatres ready and pull a team of nurses, allied health professionals and operating department practitioners together.”
“We opened an additional six theatres that night and everyone I called dropped everything they were doing to come to the aid of the patients. No one panicked; everyone was calm and so supportive,” Ongcachuy expressed.
One week after, a bomb attack happened at the Muslim Welfare House, Finsbury Park in North London, which left one dead and injured a dozen others. “I was working nights again. Maybe I shouldn’t work nights anymore!” she declared.
Ambassador to the United Kingdom Antonio M. Lagdameo stated, “It is a proud moment for all Filipinos to have someone like Joy honored with an Office of the British Empire award. Joy’s courage, passion, and dedication to serve and care for her patients are truly an inspiring and heartwarming example.”
British Ambassador to the Philippines Daniel
Joy Ongcachuy, a native of Talisayan, Misamis Oriental, arrived in the UK in 2002 with 23 other nurses and worked at St. Bartholomew Hospital before transferring to Royal London Hospital. She assures that new Filipino nurse will feel welcome and supported when her Hospital considers them.
The OBE is a distinguished award, deliberated on certain nominated individuals who have committed to serving Britain in a remarkable way.