A New Orleans nurse says she was moved to tears when an elderly woman wouldn’t see her husband as he died from coronavirus — for a very selfless reason.
Nurse Blaire Guidry, 26, said the woman insisted that the gown and mask she’d have to wear should be saved for medical professionals.
‘It was so selfless,’ Guidry told Today. ‘This was probably the most difficult time in her life and she was thinking of us. She was aware of the shortages and knew she would have to go into the room with a gown and a mask.’
Selfless: Nurse Blaire Guidry, 26, says an elderly woman wouldn’t see her husband as he died from coronavirus — because she didn’t want to use a much-needed mask
Guidry said she encountered the woman at Ochsner Medical Center.
Though medical professionals are ‘very, very protected,’ they have had to reuse masks and gowns as supply runs low.
Thoughtful: The 26-year-old nurse said: ‘This was probably the most difficult time in her life and she was thinking of us’
The elderly woman took note, and gave up the chance to say goodbye to her husband in person, so that she might help better protect doctors and nurses on the frontlines.
‘These are the types of decisions that no one ever thought they’d have to make right now,’ Guidry wrote on Facebook.
She added: ‘One of the reasons I became a nurse was to connect with the families of patients.
‘Providing support through the phone is one of the hardest things for me. They’ve never met me, they don’t know what I look like and I’m asking them to put all their trust into me.’
The pandemic has been especially difficult.
‘We’re used to seeing a lot of death, but this feels different because it all happened so quickly,’ Michelle said. ‘People that had mild to moderate comorbidities are now losing their life, and that is something we’re not used to.’
Supplies: Guidry works at Ochsner Medical Center. Though medical professionals are ‘very, very protected,’ they have had to reuse masks and gowns as supply runs low
On Facebook, she also shared what being a nurse has meant to her during the crisis.
‘Over the last two weeks, I’ve seen teamwork so powerful that feeling alone is simply not an option. I’ve witnessed innovation creating solutions to problems that I never thought a first world country would endure,’ she said.
‘I’ve watched coworkers exemplify more compassion and dedication than I’ve seen as a whole in my last four years in ICU. But most importantly, I’ve observed the utmost commitment and bravery to the unknown by my coworkers and friends.
‘I don’t think any of us could’ve predicted that one day we’d be nonchalantly entering and exiting a patient’s room and the next day having no choice but to write on glass windows and hold up signs for help in order to minimize exposure and conserve personal protective equipment,’ she went on.
‘We couldn’t have predicted that one day we’d be consoling family members at the bedside and the next day having to hear tearful family member’s voices on the phone asking us when this will end and if they’ll ever see their loved ones again due to a hospital wide visitation shutdown.
Tough times: On Facebook, she also shared what being a nurse has meant to her during the crisis
‘We couldn’t have predicted that one day our ICU wouldn’t have a single patient victimized by COVID19 and the next day having all 32 ICU beds filled with COVID19 patients needing full life support due to this worldwide pandemic that seemed to happen overnight.
‘But what we could’ve predicted is that we are all strong and called to this profession by something greater. We are called to show up when family members simply wish they could lay eyes on their loved ones.
‘We are called to be brave when the rest of the world is living in unprecedented fear. It is the weirdest and most unsettling feeling that the whole world is going through, but we will live making history every single day.’
Plenty of people around the world are having to miss out on saying goodbye to loved ones, or sharing final words over the phone and video chat.
Michelle Bennett, a major with the King County Sheriff’s Office, had to see her mother, Carolann Gann, for the last time on FaceTime at the end of March.
FaceTime farewell: Michelle Bennett (pictured left with her mother) said goodbye to her coronavirus-stricken mother, Carolann Gann, 75, via FaceTime (right)
The 75-year-old died at Swedish Issaquah Hospital in Washington state, a week after testing positive for COVID-19, KIRO7 reported.
‘Not being able to be there and hold my mom’s hand, rub her head, tell her the things I wanted to say her. It was such a helpless feeling,’ Bennett told CNN.
Bennett said that a nurse looking after her mother at the hospital, Tatiana, noticed that Gann’s breathing was becoming more labored, so she contacted the daughter to say give her the chance to say a final goodbye via FaceTime.
‘I’m going to put the phone up to her face so you can tell her you love her and say your goodbyes,’ Bennett said the nurse told her. ‘She will not be alone, we will stay with her till the end.’
Bennett said she told her mother she loved her, offered her forgiveness for past mistakes, said she was going to miss her and told her it was OK for her to pass on now.
She recounted that as nurse Tatiana took away the phone from her mother, she could see tears streaming down her mask.