“A treasured member of our team” is how the Antigua and Barbuda Football Association (ABFA) is remembering Rhea Jarvis who on Sunday became the fifth person in the country lost to Covid-19.
A statement issued by the ABFA last night described the 46-year-old healthcare worker from Pigotts as a “loyal servant of the game for two decades”.
Over the years, Jarvis served as manager of the boys’ and girls’ national teams. She was also the local course organiser for the ABFA, Concacaf and FIFA, and a Caribbean Football Union and ABFA match coordinator. She was appointed to the Concacaf 2020 list of coordinators.
Rhea dedicated her time as a manager of the Piggott’s Football Club and an organiser of the North Coast Nation Cup Tournament and the Villa Lions Premier Youth League.
“Rhea was dedicated, kind, knowledgeable, and patient,” the statement said. “She was motivated and motivating—a self-starter who was always ready to spring into action regardless of what was there to be done.
“Rhea was a consummate team player who was willing and extremely capable. We have lost a treasured member of our team, and her passing leaves a void.”
ABFA’s executive committee sent “sincere condolences” to the family, adding, “We will continue to hold you in our thoughts and prayers and will forever cherish Rhea’s memory and honour her contribution.”
Tributes have also flooded in from across the nation on Jarvis’ social media pages.
Friends described her as a “sweet soul, always listening, always encouraging”. “You were never afraid to pull me aside and speak about how I can improve and do better,” one said.
Another wrote that Jarvis had “touched a lot of people” with her “passion for community service”.
Others expressed shock at her sudden loss. Jarvis was admitted to Mount St John’s Medical Centre on December 10 with Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS).
A test for Covid-19 was positive and her symptoms worsened over the next two days before she succumbed while in intensive care.
The hospital’s medical director Dr Albert Duncan sent condolences to her family, friends and colleagues.
“I urge the media and the public to respect their privacy at this difficult time,” he said. “Our hospital along with other healthcare authorities will continue our efforts to interrupt the transmission of this virus. It will take all of us, collectively, to succeed. We urge everyone to please continue to follow public health advice.”
A statement released by the hospital on Sunday said the source of the infection was not certain and that contact tracing was underway.