Yanick Beaubrun was one of those special people who felt she had to keep working when the COVID-19 pandemic hit Long Island.
A home health care aide, she continued to care for her patients even though she had to take public transportation to and from her Hempstead apartment.
“She was a very independent woman,” said her daughter, Jennifer Fingado, of Bel Air, Maryland. “She told me, ‘I’m going to keep on working. My clients need me. I’m an essential worker.’ "
As part of a career that began in 1977, Beaubrun worked in nursing homes and group homes for the developmentally disabled and in the homes of the elderly. For the last six years, she worked for Partners in Care, which is an affiliate of the Visiting Nurse Service of New York.
Beaubrun, 64, died April 8 of complications from COVID-19, according to Fingado.
Beaubrun went to church three to four times a week and read the Bible every day, Fingado said. She didn’t own a television or radio. She enjoyed taking public transportation and would often visit New York City and walk around for hours exploring shops in Brooklyn and Queens.
"She was born in Haiti and she migrated to America as a political refugee in the 1970s,” Fingado said. “The migration process for her was a very emotional and traumatic one as it took 10 years for the whole family to be reunited in Brooklyn. As soon as she settled in America, she embraced the idea of the American dream, but she really held on to her Haitian tradition and culture and values. But at the same time, my mom was a true New Yorker. She loved everything about New York.”
The Visiting Nurse Service of New York posted a tribute to Beaubrun on its website on May 22. The article noted Beaubrun's dedication, her penchant for taking difficult live-in cases, and her practice of bringing huge plates of Haitian food from her favorite restaurant to the VNSNY office in Hicksville.
In the tribute, home health supervisor Maureena Lauchner said of Beaubrun: “She was a pleasure. Just so sweet … She was the momma bear. I could always count on Yanick.”
In addition to her daughter, Beaubrun is survived by a large family that includes her son Gregory Beaubrun, of Phoenix, and seven grandchildren. The family plans to hold a memorial service at a later date to celebrate her life.