There have been over 26M coronavirus cases and more than 435K deaths reported in the United States. After almost a year into the pandemic, many citizens are still scrambling to get back on their feet.
And those who have it worse are the homeless population, especially those who have personally suffered from the virus.
Rebecca DeCoteau, a registered nurse working at a COVID-19 field hospital in Massachusetts, witnessed just how hard it is for these individuals. She saw many homeless patients coming in, and she noticed that many of them lacked clothing.
“They came in with what they were wearing,” she said. “They either didn’t have family to bring them extra clothing or they just didn’t have much to wear.”
Rebecca, who works at the DCU Center in Worcester, worried about sending the patients back out into the cold weather without the right winter gear. So, she organized a clothing donation drive for the homeless patients recovering from COVID-19.
The kindhearted nurse hopes this initiative will lessen their worries about staying warm after being discharged from the hospital.
“When someone is struggling to breathe the last thing they want to worry about is what they are wearing,” Rebecca said.
Rebecca is collecting items of clothing such as coats, jackets, sweatshirts, and pants. People can also donate unused undergarments and socks.
The project turned out to be a massive success. So many people have donated clothes and shoes that Rebecca immediately needed a place to store the items. Luckily, a generous donor paid for an entire month of storage at the U-Haul in Leominster.
Since there has been an outpouring of donations, Rebecca said she will also be able to extend her help to the local shelters in Massachusetts.
If you would like to donate, you can coordinate with Rebecca through the “Nurses for Hope” Facebook page.
Kudos to you, Rebecca, and to all who have generously contributed to this cause!
Another healthcare worker who deserves recognition for making her patients’ lives better is Brenda Buurstra.
Brenda works in a hospice inpatient facility care at Bronson Hospital in Kalamazoo, Michigan. She believes that hospice inpatient facility care doesn’t have to be all gloomy, like what many people tend to believe.
End-of-life care is often associated with plain hospital walls and routine check-ups. Many think there isn’t much to it except making a dying person’s final days in this world as comfortable as possible.
But Brenda believes that shouldn’t be the case. So, in her own sweet way, the nurse tries to make her elderly patients enjoy their stay through the power of music.
Robert Olson, one of the facility’s patients, had heart problems and struggled to breathe. He also had difficulty speaking even just a few words at a time.
But because of Brenda’s wonderful care, she got the man to speak – and sing! Robert said his favorite song is “You Light Up My Life,” so the nurse started singing it to him.
For Brenda, being a healthcare worker entails more than just fulfilling patients’ medical needs: “Not just taking care of the illness in a patient; to touch them. To touch their life. To touch their heart.”
Miraculously, Robert became strong enough to go home a week later! Surely, Brenda had a lot to do with that quick recovery.
Share this story to celebrate all the awesome nurses out there.