An Igbo American Nurse, Ona Onyia, has made global news as one of the heroes combating the novel coronavirus in far away New York City, the epicentre of the pandemic.
Nurse Ona resides in Arizona but deployed, along with his mom who is a Nurse Practitioner, to New York to help there with the escalating number of COVID-19 cases.
She drafted the following to she her experience in the coronavirus front line.
“Twenty-one days ago, I deployed to NYC, the world’s epicenter of Covid-19. Never in a million years would I have thought, I would experience a pandemic in my lifetime, talk less of being a nurse in one. I have officially completed 21/21 nights of working here in NYC as a Covid-ICU nurse.
“I worked 21 nights straight (12 hour shifts) with one day off. This assignment pushed me completely out of my comfort zone and I had to remind myself that sometimes seeking discomfort and taking risks will cause you to grow.
“This experience has been mentally, physically and emotionally exhausting. I’ve seen more people die in 21 days than I’ve ever seen in my entire nursing career. I’ve seen people going from talking to being put on the ventilator within minutes.
“People are dying alone because no family is allowed in the hospital. Of course there are bad days but there are also so many good days. I’ve seen patients be extubated and be able to FaceTime their families. But to say all this, I’m just happy to be here. This experience continues to be extremely rewarding in so many ways.
“I am also so thankful to be working alongside a team of resilient, brilliant and selfless healthcare workers who flew in from all over the country to help NYC fight this virus. The teamwork we have out here is unreal. We’re always looking out for each other, cause we rely on one another to get through this.
“This experience continues to change me everyday and I’m so thankful to God for keeping me healthy and continuing to give me the strength to assist out here.
“I know that it is difficult for those that are not affected personally by this to fully understand. But it is very much real. I didn’t realize how bad it was untill I got here. It is a very difficult and uncertain time for all of us but thank you everyone for continuing to practice social distancing and assisting to flatten the curve.
“I have also decided to extend my stay here in NYC to continue to assist in this fight against Covid-19.
“I am also here with my mom, she’s here working as a nurse practitioner while I’m here working as a nurse! Thank you to Desmond Nugent for reaching out and covering our story while out here!”