Father’s Day is every day for Egon Gagon

For EGON Fagon, a registered nurse since 1983, Father’s Day which was celebrated yesterday, is every day for him. Alhough his children are grown he still takes pride in his role as a dad.

Fagon fathers two girls – Daniela and Debra. He tells the Jamaica Observer that his initiation into fatherhood was not daunting as he was a mature individual and had already began putting most things in place to ensure his family’s comfort.

“By that time I had my house. When they came it wasn’t so hard. Eventually you grow into the role and I knew what it was like to put them to sleep, bathe them, feed them, take them to school. Right through their lives I was there doing my role and alternating with my wife for drop off and pickups,” he said.

As a nurse educator, Fagon’s interest is in psychiatric nursing and though he is not in the clinical area, assisting his students to help clients who faced anxiety issues through COVID-19 was a role he did with pleasure.

“Some of my students had to face persons suffering from anxiety problems. I was able to give information and help people deal with stress. Many people had lost their work and were not earning. Many people were working part-time and a lot have not gone back to work. There were many suffering from anxiety and stress about how to pay mortgages, car loans and even looking after their children. If you incorporate mental health in your general nursing care, you pick up on things with clients that regular nurses won’t. There is no good health without good mental health. It helps you to deal with stress factors. You would have heard that some health workers on the front line could not deal with the pressure. For persons in mental health, although stressful, it would have been easier for them to cope,” he said.

Fagon, who like any other dad, wants to see his daughters become independent and live a successful life, said the vicious cycle of absentee fathers locally needs to be broken.

“We live in a society where cultural practices are affecting the quality of family relationships. You have some communities in which young girls are told if they don’t become a babymother by the age of 15, they are mules. If you grow up with that type of thing over you, no father around you who can rubbish those claims, you may end up in a situation where you don’t finish school and you are young with potential and pregnant.

“Then there is one man with several babymothers and he is not economically stable. If you are playing the field and having three babymothers, over time the children suffer. I know of a situation with one woman with eight children for eight different men and the children grow up not having a good father figure, as men don’t stand up to their responsibility,” Fagon lamented.

He added: “Unless that cycle is broken we are going to have this problem. The cycle can be broken, but we need deep social intervention as we are in a vicious cycle.”

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