Muscat: Inspired by their mother’s selfless sacrifice, the children of the Omani nurse who died of COVID-19 last Friday say they too want to care for others the same way she did.
Shanouna Al Nu’amani, who succumbed to the virus after testing positive on 17 February, was a nurse at Khoula Hospital whose dedication, sincerity and care for her patients earned her the love, respect, and admiration of her family, colleagues, and those she looked after.
Her eldest of four children, Sarah Al Sinawi, 27, says she wishes to live up to the high values by which her mother lived her life.
“My mother told us that we must always remember in our hearts to provide assistance to those who need it, even without being asked for help,” she said. “It is important we help others with kindness, sincerity, and good intentions, whether they come from our family, the community, our place of work and education, and all those around us.”
Adding to her elder sister’s words, 26-year-old Shaima said everyone had only fond words for Shanouna. Well-wishers spoke many words of sympathy and shared wonderful memories of the time spent with her.
“She was like a tree, which provided fruits to everyone, in the form of words of comfort and kindness,” she recalled. “I learned from my mother how to be sincere at work, and serve my nation with dedication and commitment. One of the most important lessons she taught me was to stand in support with colleagues: she had the chance to retire from her job, but she chose to dedicate her efforts and energy towards helping others, until her last day.”
Shanouna’s sons, 24-year-old Salah and 23-year-old Salem, are also similarly inspired by their mum. Clearly present in their mind are the way she motivated them, and her ever-present smile, despite the challenges she faced.
“I learned to love the nursing profession because of her struggle, dedication, and devotion to her work,” said Salah Al Sinawi. “She would provide assistance to her colleagues and support her patients throughout the day, and then come home and continue to spread the values of love, kindness and help to those who needed it.”
His younger brother, Salem, said the high regard in which his mother was held helped alleviate the pain he feels from her passing.
“Many people still call me and send me messages of condolence and sympathy – they are mostly those who worked with her, or met her elsewhere in society,” he recalled. “I am very proud of my mom for all she has done.”
The goodness of Shanouna was also felt by her youngest brother, the children’s uncle, Aziz Al Nu’amani, who had been raised by her since the tender age of seven.
“One day, a mother of a child who came for treatment, met her at the hospital,” he said.
“She normally talked with the patients and their families to bring them cheer, and in this case, asked the lady about her life and family. The mother told her she had begun construction of a house, but was unable to complete it because of a lack of money. Without thinking twice, my sister donated money to her so that she could finish building the home, and provide a suitable place for her family to live in. The woman received the keys to her new home before my sister passed away.”
“Her acts of kindness were not just limited to her homeland: she provided humanitarian assistance and zakat to many children in African countries such as Tanzania and Rwanda, a task with which I was entrusted,” said Aziz.
“She came with me to visit the needy families in these countries because she also wanted to help them herself, so that she was assured of their comfort. She was also helping an old woman build a house in Rwanda by donating money to her, but I will finish its work to honour her memory,” Aziz further added