Ayesha Peets Talbot is offering $30,000 in health services as a way of helping Bermuda heal.
She is also giving away 3,000 copies of Healing Bermuda: The Real Solution to Your Health Crisis, the 2018 book she wrote with her partners, Sabrina Famous and Beth Hollis.
Their idea was to celebrate the fifth anniversary of their medical practice, Ocean Rock Wellness, but Covid-19 brought an added purpose.
“It is very clear that people who have chronic illnesses and chronic inflammation, who are not in optimal health, are the ones that are at higher risk of having a worse outcome with Covid-19,” Dr Peets Talbot said. “If this isn’t the time where people are conscious about what is their health status, there will never be a time for them. They will always be completely checked out.”
A lot of people understand they could be at risk, but don’t understand what to do about it, she said.
“They know to wear a mask and wash their hands, but they don’t understand what is the next step. This is a health wake-up call for the whole world.”
People have to sign up online in order to have a chance of receiving free services from the practice. “Everything from nutrition consulting to yoga classes to wellness checks is on offer in the draw.
Dr Peets Talbot believes it partners well with the book, which aims to provide residents with information on common health challenges facing the island such as diabetes, chronic pain and environmental toxins and also gives information on ways to reach optimal health.
With H1N1 behind her, she’s feeling relatively peaceful about Covid-19.
She was finishing up her medical residency in Richmond, Virginia, during the flu outbreak which killed 575,400 people in 2009. Six years later she opened Ocean Rock Wellness as a holistic healing centre.
“We do functional medicine and we have a team approach where we like to help people transform their health and empower themselves,” she said. “We have a more holistic mindset. It is more like mind, body, spirit. I feel like I have a voice now. I am more than happy to use it. Because I have already lived through something like this, I find myself trying to reassure people.”
Nevertheless, it has been a rough time. Six of her patients, one of whom was her husband’s grandmother, have died since March. “I was really involved in her care. She had a major stroke before the pandemic. We couldn’t have a proper burial; we had to have a graveside funeral and social-distancing.”
One patient had Covid-19; all six patients had underlying chronic diseases related to their lifestyle choices.
“They were things that could have been prevented,” she said. “Early intervention could have given them more years. I am too young to lose hope.
“I think this is what I was put on this earth for. Preventive medicine is my passion. I don’t throw in the towel easily.”
Copies of Healing Bermuda: The Real Solution to Your Health Crisis are available for free at pharmacies and grocery stores through Saturday.
“We gave a copy of the book to the young son of a patient with breast cancer,” she said. “He said he wanted to help us give the book away.
“When he read it, he said I appreciate everything you have done for my mother. When he said he read the book and how moved he was by it, it was very touching for me. It has been a while since we got feedback.”
• Enter Ocean Rock Wellness’ anniversary giveaway at www.healingbermudabook.com before June 5. The draw takes place on June 8