ICU Nurse + Medical Disaster Relief Volunteer
By the time that you read this, Casey Jackson will be in the New York area caring for people suffering from COVID-19. Casey is an ICU nurse typically working in both Fayette and Clark Counties, but she's going to the epicenter of the outbreak, the place with the greatest need of her skill set at this time. "It's overwhelming to watch patients struggle with this virus, but Kentucky residents are doing a great job of adhering to health care professionals' suggestions, and our COVID numbers are staying relatively low," says Casey. "The number of patients admitted to hospitals in Kentucky is manageable. Currently, the number of admissions in NYC is not."
Before we encountered this new normal, Casey had a very different routine. She worked night shift as a Cardiac ICU nurse. Typically, she was assigned two patients to care for, usually fresh from major surgery. Now, most surgeries are postponed. "Lately, our patients are acutely ill, many with severe respiratory issues, and by the time the ICU receives them, they're often the sickest they could be," she says.
Although one can't help but be impressed by her dedication, Casey says it's the average person whom she finds to be most deserving of credit. "By definition, a person on the frontline is one coming into first contact with the opponent. For this purpose, our opponent is the virus," she says. "People at home are true front liners. They're struggling, trying to maintain a sense of normalcy, yet choosing to follow recommendations to protect themselves and their loved ones. Unfortunately, as providers, we can only help patients after they're symptomatic, as there is currently nothing we can do preventatively. It's up to the public to try to keep themselves from getting it."
Casey has two young children staying in Kentucky while she battles COVID-19 in New York. "It's hard to leave my two boys for this long, but helping is something I feel passionate about during this crisis."