Email from local, veteran emergency room nurse gives perspective on COVID-19 pandemic

Email from local, veteran emergency room nurse gives perspective on COVID-19 pandemic
An email from a local, veteran emergency room nurse. Please take time to read. I’m putting it here verbatim. (Source: Provided to WBTV)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Amazing email from a local, veteran emergency room nurse. Please take time to read. I’m putting it here verbatim.

Best way I can find to thank our healthcare workers is to publish their words, straight from their heart.

Her message is clear.

"Hi Molly!

This is Wendy Henson. My full “nurse name” is Wendy Henson, RN, BSN, CEN. I am a 26-year RN in the Emergency Department at Atrium Health Main and a nurse leader with our mobile emergency department MED 1.

My first deployment with MED 1 was to Waveland, Mississippi just after Hurricane Katrina. At that time, my oldest, Hunter, was only 5 months old. Hunter is now 3 weeks shy of 15! My youngest son, Harper, just turned 12. Hunter is a freshman and Harper, a 6th grader.

Just like all students everywhere, the world as they knew it completely changed on March 13th. Both went from excellent students, avid baseball players and extremely socially engaged kids to an unknown and surreal existence. Unlike most, their mom is front and center in a pandemic that has stolen our peace of mind, sense of security and frozen the world in fear.

COVID-19 is an exceptionally dangerous and highly contagious virus sweeping our nation and putting thousands of lives at risk. It is true that most people will only experience “flu-like” symptoms, but that is not going to be true for thousands of others. We all may think... “I’m healthy and my kids are healthy.. what’s the big deal!” But how many of us know someone in our lives with “underlying” medical conditions? Diabetes, hypertension, asthma, obesity, kidney disease. This could be your spouse, sibling, parents, friends, etc. These are the people you should worry about. They are members of your family and people you know and love.

And as for the personal sacrifice, I’m leaving my boys at home for long shifts. I’m gone before they wake and go through a new and grueling routine upon returning which now includes, changing clothes before I leave the hospital, spraying my car and all personal belongings and shoes with Lysol. Hunter and Harper stay in their rooms until my scrubs are in the washer and I have showered and washed my hair. Only then, do we get to hug and catch up on how brutally boring their day was.

I spare them the details of how frightened I am about leaving them and bringing back an invisible villain. About how fast policies and protocols are changing as the virus rapidly takes over our city. About how little sleep I am getting and how the anxiety and concern for our community is taking its toll. I chose this career. I choose Emergency Medicine. I wouldn’t want to do anything different. The facility I work for, the department I work in and the people I work with are the best of the best. We will beat this...

...but we desperately need your help!

We’ve all seen the pictures of people not appropriately practicing social distancing. Staying away from people is the only way to shut this virus down. Until this is done we will continue to see staggering and increasing numbers of COVID-19 positives.

I’ve never been afraid to deploy or to go work in the Emergency Department... until now. PLEASE STAY HOME SO WE CAN GO TO WORK AND CARE FOR THOSE WHO NEED US.

Would you share my message? I love my boys. I love my job. I want to keep doing my job and not have to put my family at such risk.

Peace and Blessings, Wendy"

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