A Memory of Michael Jackson. Kathy McGrath, Michael Jackson's nurse in 1984, shares memories. By: Maggie Griffin
Meeting with Kathy McGrath, former Nurse of Michael Jackson when he was treated for burn injuries, I will admit she is a very extraordinary woman. Going back 25 years of Kathy’s career is a career that means more to her then anyone can imagine. Her career in nursing touched the lives of hundreds of people, including Michael Jackson, her patient in 1984.
Kathy McGrath, born August 12, 1954 in Waterbury Connecticut, found her calling to enter the medical profession in her later teen years. She wanted to be a Medical Technologist. Following high school, Kathy attended St. Mary’s School of Nursing. A 1975 Graduate, she, along with 3 other peers from St. Mary’s School of Nursing, left for California. There is where Kathy was a Nurse at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Beverly Hills, Intensive Care Unit. This Center is known to be the hospital to the stars.
Kathy was also a Floating Intensive Care Nurse where she would be called to duty to other medical facilities, including the Intensive Care Unit at Brothrotmen Medical Center, the Center where Entertainer Michael Jackson was admitted when he suffered burn injuries to his head during the making the a Pepsi Commercial in 1984. Kathy, being a fan of Michael Jackson, did not expect that Michael Jackson was going to be one of her patients. Jackson was placed in a private room, room number 3307, where he became the patient of Kathy McGrath. As Kathy McGrath, 29 at the time, quoted in The February, 1984 issue of People’s Magazine about Michael Jackson when he suffered burn injuries to his head: “He was still pretty shaken up and cold, so we put about five blankets on him.”
During my conversation with Kathy McGrath, she relived her experience as Michael Jackson’s nurse. “He was at the height of his career. Being his nurse was an awesome and honorable experience as his music touched me all my life”, said McGrath. Kathy also emphasized one important fact; “As awesome and honorable it was that Michael Jackson was my patient, regardless of him being a celebrity, I automatically went into Nurse Mode. It was important that he had a private room to allow me to care for him and his burn injuries appropriately without interruptions. It is a challenge when giving medical care to burn victims as burn victims can also have other complications related to burn injuries. My job was to make sure all my patients received immediate, top and best medical care, including Michael.”
Another patient of McGrath, during the same time Jackson was her patient, is a man by the name of Keith Perry who suffered 90% of burns on his body. “Dr. Steven Hoefflin was Michael’s Plastic Surgeon at the time. Michael visited Keith Perry a couple of times during his stay in the medical facility, he cared about him and many others who were being treated for burns”, said McGrath.
Kathy also shared with me her memorabilia’s such as the People’s Magazine dated back February of 1984 where she was mentioned being Michael Jackson’s Nurse. She also shared pictures, such as one with her and other staff members with Michael Jackson in the medical facility where Jackson was admitted prior to receiving out-patient care for his burn injuries.
Turning one of the photos over is where I read in Michael Jackson’s hand writing to Kathy McGrath:
“Thank You, I Love You – Michael Jackson”
There is a message Kathy McGrath wants to give to the Jackson family. That message is: “My heart and prayers goes out to the entire Jackson Family for the loss of Michael. No matter what, they are a family and family comes first.”
Michael Jackson – Thank you for giving us your gift of music, sharing your heart and caring for people. We love you too. You will always be there.