Sudden Death Of Dr. Brewley, First Native Female M.D., Saddens BVI


“Sudden,” was the adjective former legislator E. Walwyn “GM” Brewley used to describe the passing of his sister Dr. Natalie Brewley last week.
Dr. Brewley, who was honoured last year for being the first female doctor to return home and contribute to the medical field passed away last Thursday 1 December. It was reported that she was not feeling well and was taken to the Peebles Hospital where she subsequently died.
During a radio program that was aired on ZBVI on 3 December, Mr. Brewley fondly remembered his sister and explained that the news was shocking: “That was a hard one, we knew she had her health issues but nobody expected that! It just came so sudden just like that.”
Mr. Brewley described his sister as brilliant and shared that she was a persistent learner: “She was a great little person, she was the smallest of the sisters; she was really a brilliant child from pre-school days. In fact, she wanted to go to school before she was ready to go to school and when my mother sent her along she wanted to sit up with the bigger children she wanted to move up real quick and when the teacher told her no, no you can’t sit up here you have to sit with the other little ones she fought off the teacher and the teacher sent a message to my mother — she said don’t send her back send her when she get a little bit older.”
Walwyn Brewley noted that Dr. Brewley maintained her interest in learning from pre-school and graduated early from High School: “She was a brilliant child, she did all her exams and by the time she was 16 she was out of High School and then she went on to do medicine.”
In reflecting on her years as medical doctor, the former Legislator shared that his sister who was the Territory’s first female doctor would go the extra mile to help her patients and their babies: “At one point in time she was the only gynecologist/obstetric here. She had terrific work ethics, she would work all day, all night, and forget about herself. The very first time she took ill she dropped down coming out of the theatre saving somebody’s life and somebody’s baby.”
Mr. Brewley said that his sister helped to bring a number babies into the world: “She delivered quite a number of children around here and she was the only one, but when it had complications she might as well had set up a bedroom in the hospital because whenever complications came in those days “call Dr. Brewley,” and she would get out of bed and get down there and do what she needed to do to save lives, to save babies lives,” he pointed out.
“It used to be 12 of us, now it is down to nine because three have gone on, but that’s part of life, the Lord gave her to us for 65 years there about, not just us as a family but the entire Territory of people of the BVI. I guess he saw that she wasn’t slowing down and he stepped in,” he added.
During the program a number of persons called in to express condolences to Dr. Brewley’s family and reflected on their encounters with the Doctor.