Healthcare caring for their own

Health Watch

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – They are the ones who care for us during our most difficult times. But who cares for our healthcare workers? Turns out they do that too, in a healthcare system united in the fight against COVID-19.

“You could have been exposed two weeks ago, have no symptoms, have a rapid test three days ago that comes out negative and surprise, surprise… you go to grandma with a virus,” said Dr. Raul Mendoza, a pulmonologist with Aurora BayCare Medical Center.

Mendoza puts into perspective what could happen if the public doesn’t take CDC safety guidelines seriously.

“Please, give grandma and grandpa a chance,” Mendoza advised.

Hope Coppens has also seen it with her own eyes.

“We’re seeing a lot more acute patients that are very sick when they’re coming in,” Coppens said.

Mendoza and Coppens are both healthcare warriors fighting on the front lines at Aurora BayCare in Green Bay.

“I remember how scared I was. I remember scrambling to save lies, scrambling to accommodate families’ questions,” said Danie Cervantes.

Cervantes is a nurse from Illinois, but in the same healthcare group, Advocate Aurora Health.

“We had a sister site that was surging with COVID patients and they asked if there was anybody willing to go up to Green Bay and help with the staffing,” Cervantes explained.

Cervantes answered the call.

“We ended up packing up our car with the kids things and drove them across the country, dropped them off with my mom for three months, drove back home that same day,” recalled Cervantes.

So, after working four 12 hour days in Illinois, Cervantes travelled to Green Bay to take on three more 12 hour days at Aurora BayCare.  Then back to Illinois, one day off and start the cycle all over again; a dedication instilled in her by her mother.

“My mother always told us ‘Not everyone is as fortunate as you. There’s always somebody in a worse position. If you can help, there’s absolutely no reason not to,’” Cervantes said.

These are just a couple of the dedicated healthcare professionals coming face-to-face with the pandemic everyday.

“We’ve had so many techs and nurses get sick from this because we don’t get to hide from COVID in our day’s work,” Cervantes explained.

Including Cervantes herself.

“I had COVID in May,” she said.

These healthcare workers say they choose to do what they do out of love for their profession and their patients. But they need the public to step up too and take CDC safety guidelines seriously…

“This is very real and there are lots of people who are really struggling with this,” said Cervantes.

…to just hang in there just a little while longer while they work to stop this pandemic…

“We are just around the corner,” said Mendoza.

…and to know our healthcare system has your back.

“We’re very thankful for her [Cervantes] to come out and help us in our time of need and it really shows that Advocate Aurora is looking out for all of our facilities, including Aurora BayCare,” Coppens said.

Another thing doctors say you can do to help is to get your flu shot, for something we know we can prevent. This year it’s especially important, so the pandemic doesn’t turn into a twin-demic.

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