Hope for Tomorrow
Corey Cudzilo, MD, pulmonologist at Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center, reminds the community that the COVID-19 virus can affect anyone. While preexisting conditions are a factor in how sick you may become, they are not always clear indicators.
“It’s important that we all do everything we can, and keep doing what we have been doing,” he says. “We are all susceptible to ‘fear fatigue’ and ‘isolation fatigue.’ I would encourage people to hang in there, because with the vaccine we see the light at the end of the tunnel.
“[The nurses] are doing the heavy lifting with patient interaction,” he adds. “Their job is demanding and sometimes thankless. In many cases, patients’ successful outcomes are a result of good ICU care.”
A Note from Your ICU Nurse
Krista Henley is one of the critical care nurses at Fort Sanders Regional who cared for Sandra Savage.
“I remember when she went home after a long hospitalization,” Henley recalls. “Each day, she got a little better. COVID-19 will infect the people you don’t necessarily suspect; people of any age and gender can be affected.”
Henley recalls the victorious moment when she got to help Savage into her vehicle to head home after a long, isolated stay. It was a celebration for everyone. The staff who cared for her even lined the hallways to cheer for Savage as she left for home.
As a frontline healthcare worker treating COVID-19 patients every day, Henley says, “You want to be with your patients as much as you can and to take care of them. It’s tiring but rewarding.” Her message is simple: “It’s so important to keep wearing a mask, washing your hands, and doing what you can” to prevent the spread of the virus.