Relatives and friends of nine-year-old Azaria Worrell who lost her battle with cancer last December are “missing her like crazy”.
But the principal Wendine Prince, and staff at St Albans Primary where Azaria was a student who everybody knew because of her bubbly personality, are doing what is necessary to ensure the little girl is always remembered at the institution.
Principal Wendine Prince announced that the school’s pink day which is observed in October annually, will now be renamed Azaria Pinky Memorial Day.
Last November 2, Barbados TODAY highlighted Azaria’s story about her fight with cancer, which evoked widespread support from readers who were touched by her braveness and offered words of encouragement and numerous well wishes.
Azaria was diagnosed with Leukaemia in May 2018.
With tears streaming down her cheeks, Azaria’s mother Alicia Worrell told Barbados TODAY that she was happy to see that St Albans has not forgotten her “baby”.
“I am here at the school today with her former teachers and her friends and it is hard for me. Actually everyday is hard for me because I remember her everyday. Now that it coming on to a year since she has died, we are remembering things that she did, and things that we did with her just before she died at the hospital.
“Some mornings when I get up and I think about her, I cry. The same day as the cancer walk was ten months since Azaria died and I just got up crying and thinking about her, and then I went on the walk,” Worrell said.
To show gratitude, Azaria’s relatives presented gifts to the teachers at the institution who stood at their side when the child was ailing and after she passed away.
Azaria’s twin sister Lazaria and older brother Keagan assisted with making the presentations.
“We normally recognize breast cancer awareness month and we incorporate the other cancers too. We started a few years ago to have what we call a healthy lifestyle day, but when Azaria passed away, we made a decision as a staff to rename the day the Azaria Pinky Worrell Memorial Day where we promote healthy practices in terms of getting active through various activities, and eating healthy,” Prince said.
The principal noted that though she knows Azaria has died, she still sees the child as a student of St Albans.
“I don’t see her as transitioning. I could remember things that she said because she was that vivacious kind of child that made you have to know Pinky.
“You may not know the other twin, but you had to know Pinky. The children in her class still wear their pins on their uniform and they remember Pinky as if she was alive. Pinky would have sat the Common Entrance exam next year because she was in class 3 when she died.
“I always say I knew she would have been a prefect or deputy head girl because you could see her leadership skills from early. I also felt that she would have made it into one of those top three schools because even during her illness she remained focused and committed to her school work,” Prince said.
Mary Worrell said though she is still grieving the death of her granddaughter, she is trying to remain strong for Azaria’s siblings who show their sadness almost daily.
“I find sometimes at night her brother would come to my room and he would start to cry and sometimes the things that he would put up on his phone, I would ask him if he is okay and he would say ‘granny no, I miss my sister’.
“The house feels empty though Lazaria and Keagan are there because Pinky used to more give us that push because she was always a joyful child,” the grandmother said. (AH)