Dreaming and living nursing –SLAIN NURSE


She tried to get him out of her life, even went to court

A family is mourning the loss of a woman who was living a dream of going as far as she could in nursing but who had that dream cut short by bullets by a man who claimed he loved her.

Dead is Ophelia Wollaston, 39, registered nurse of Lime Hall, St Ann. Her 60-year-old ex-lover a security guard is in lock up for the murder. It is expected he will be charged anytime now.

Ms Wollaston had not simply tried to break off the relationship but also she had also gone to the police several times to have the man kept away from her after he reportedly issued several threats against her and constantly harassed her. Last week, after she went to court seeking protection, a court order was served on him on Wednesday.

In fact, reports to the North Coast Times are that the nurse, who told relatives she was tired of being stalked and harassed, was killed minutes after she went to the headquarters police stations in St Ann’s Bay and reported again that the man had threatened her again. That’s even after he was served the court papers to keep away from her.

Ms Wollaston had left her two young children in the care of her mother in Seville Heights and told a family member she would not be long but she had to report the harassment. She went to the station, filed a report and shortly after called a relative saying the man was following her and she was walking toward the supermarket just to get rid of him. The man followed her into the supermarket and accosted her near to the cashiers’ stalls. It was just after 6 p.m. The supermarket was packed. They had brief words, a security camera showed, and when Ms Wollaston turned away he removed his gun from his waist and shot her twice. Police say the firearm was licenced.

There was pandemonium, not just in the supermarket but outside on Bravo Street on the busy Friday evening, among shoppers and taxi operators who stop in that area.  The shooter reportedly walked out with gun in hand, increasing the panic as people fled.

Ms Wollaston was taken to St Ann’s Bay Hospital, just about a mile away, where her colleagues tried their best to save her life. But just after 4, the following morning, Saturday, she took her last breath.

She left behind two children one seven years old and another 19 months old.

Dreaming and living nursing

Ophelia Wollaston got into the profession her mother had talked about and wanted to enter but didn’t. Her mother encouraged and supported Ophelia to go after her dream of becoming a nurse. From a child Ophelia expressed an interest in nursing. So, after school in Lime Hal, her birthplace where she lived until last week, then Marcus Garvey Secondary (now Technical High), nursing was still what lit up her life and caused her to dream big. Then she got a scholarship to Cuba where she studied nursing.

She returned to her community and got work at the St Ann’s Bay hospital. Then only recently she started a specialist training in Oncology, or cancer care. The course was to finish in January and she was doing well, coming home to St Ann on weekends.

She was spending time between her home in Lime Hall and her mother and aunt’s residences in Seville Heights, further west of St Ann’s Bay. In fact, a chronic water problem in Lime Hall helped push her to take the two children up to her mom and aunt in recent time.

That same water problem featured in one of the most recent encounters, allegedly with the man who killed her.


Although Miss Wollaston was backing out of the relationship and told him repeatedly that it was done, he went to her house one weekend afternoon and heard that she had gone to get water, taken by a former boyfriend. People familiar with what went on said the security guard was angry.

Carlene Bingham, her aunt, said Ms Wollaston was a “great mother, mind body and soul.” She said she and the nurse were very close. “Me and her were best friends” who shared many things. She said what she will miss the most was Wollaston’s jovial spirit and smile.

According to her when Wollaston last left the house and they were telling her to hurry back, Friday afternoon she joked the way she always did saying to her mom and aunt, “Oonu haffi look bout grand children.”

Wollaston was a member of the United Pentecostal Church.

Up to the weekend the elder child, seven years old had not been told what had happened to his mother. Ms Bingham says perhaps his father will have to break the news.  The other is one year and seven months old.