Looking Rosie

Veteran actress recovering after surgery

By Richard Johnson
Observer senior reporter

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

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Actress Rosemary Murray is at home recovering from a recent angioplasty following a heart attack she suffered in December.

Murray's operation was made possible thanks to an initiative launched by her son on the website GoFundMe. The goal was to raise CND$20,000 to offset the $1.4 million cost for the surgery. The campaign has raised CDN$19,256 since its launch 13 days ago with 289 persons contributing.

“I am doing a lot better. I can now breathe properly... I can speak without becoming breathless,” Murray told the Jamaica Observer.

“The procedure was done by injecting a dye in my wrist to locate the blockages. Three stents have been put in and I am now on a very strict diet which does not allow me to eat any flesh, no salt or dairy. I am on a lot of medication and I am to start cardio-physiotherapy,” Murray explained.

The surgery was done at Medical Associates Hospital in Kingston on February 10.

The actress became emotional when she spoke of the gratitude shown to her by those who contributed to her medical expenses.

“Mi just sit dung an' bawl everyday. I don't know anything. I don't know anything about this online stuff and it was all my son's doing. I kept asking, 'Are you sure this thing is going to work? People just going to tek up dem money an' give me?'. The truth is, I had no idea where this money would come from for the bill, which was over a million dollars. But once the word got out, and the media picked up on the story, there was just an outpouring of love. And I could not contain myself, I just cried everyday,” she said.

In addition to donations from the GoFundMe Campaign, at least two local health facilities reached out to Murray and her family with offers to do the procedure and work out payment afterwards.

“Dr Elliot and the team at the PCIJ, which is the cardiac unit at the Medical Associates Hospital, was one of the people who reached out and all I heard was, '... But you are not going anywhere... So let's work out something'.”

She added that, “When we did some of the preliminary work, it was discovered that I was in worse shape than we thought. Some of my veins looked like lines which had areas erased. I was in pretty bad shape,” she said.

Murray explained that based on the advice of her doctors, she is taking it easy for the next few months, but hopes to return to the stage in May. She has appeared in plays, including Tek Yuh Hand Offa Me, S aving Grace and Not My Child.

“I have booked The Phoenix Theatre for Mother's Day for the premiere of Slice of Life 2. This episode of my life will be included. My life has been spared for a reason. It is now my duty and purpose to share this and other experiences in my life with others; to encourage everyone to take care of themselves and pay attention to the signs,” she added.

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