A nurse who traveled from Texas to the front lines of the coronavirus battle at Elmhurst Hospital in Queens says it is “absolute chaos” — but also “inspiring” to see people join the fight from all across the nation.
Charlie Adams, from Fort Worth, decided to travel to the Big Apple and volunteer to help the city’s overburdened COVID-19 emergency response team, NBC DFW reported.
“It’s absolute chaos, when there’s codes and intubations and lack of supplies, it’s absolute chaos,” she told the outlet.
“People are just rallying together to come up with everything they can to save these patients and it’s really inspiring to see these people from all over the world, all over the country, that have never met each other working to save peoples lives. It just keeps me going really.”
Adams said she’s constantly in “adrenaline fight mode” as she treats ailing patients.
“It’s basically survival mode at this point — you come in, supplies are running out, we’re running out of ventilators, we’re wearing our N-95s for a week at a time,” Adams told the outlet.
“It’s just heartbreaking. Four of my six patients are either vented or they passed away and none of their families were there. We’re trying to call families to tell them good-bye, it’s heartbreaking, nothing can prepare you for that,” she said.
Her new colleagues who work permanently in New York, she said, “are the strongest nurses.”
“They have been doing this for weeks and they keep going with a smile on their face and they just keep fighting,” Adams said.
Adams has been chronicling her experiences at Elmhurst in her Facebook blog TX RN Takes On NYC.
Emergency response team volunteers can commit to up to three weeks of service. Adams plans to stay for at least two.
Elizabeth Schaffer, a nurse from Minnesota who is now working at Beth Israel Mount Sinai Hospital.