New Mexico nurse joins fight against COVID-19 at New York hospital

Coronavirus New Mexico

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (KRQE) – She left behind her three kids and husband to go to a place where no one wants to be. A New Mexico nurse has joined the fight against COVID-19 in a New York hospital.

Brittany Lackey graduated from nursing school at New Mexico State University and after working for years at Las Cruces Memorial Hospital, she decided to leave her husband and three kids behind to answer the call for help in the hardest hit area in the country. “I know that I am here for a purpose and I know that God put me here and I do believe he’s going to take care of me,” said Lackey.

Lackey has just finished her first full week working as a nurse at Interfaith Medical Center in Brooklyn, New York. “We had a talk at the beginning with the actual owner of the company and she just laid it out and was like, ‘I feel deep responsibility to let you guys know that you are walking into hell.'”

She had been placed in the intensive care unit. “I know that people are recovering from this, I know the recovery rates are high, but in the ICU it just very much feels like a death sentence,” said Lackey.

This past week, she was assigned two COVID-19 patients. “The 40-year-old is a healthy 40-year-old, she didn’t make it,” said Lackey. “The 80-year-old is from a nursing home and she’s still there.”

Lackey says not only are COVID-19 patients dying every single day, so are the hospital staff. “These nurses and these doctors see a lot of death.”

“Like at Memorial when I was working there in their ICU you know, we coded people all the time but it wasn’t like every single person that I took care of didn’t die you know, I had a lot of triumphs and they don’t have a lot of triumphs,” said Lackey.

Lackey says the support she’s received on her journey has been tremendous. United Airlines paid for her flight and upgraded her to first-class, and the New York Crisis Management team has paid for her entire hotel stay.

“The amount of support is overwhelming,” said Lackey. “Actually, this whole interview feels overwhelming to me because I’m just one nurse, there’s tons of nurses that have left their families behind and I’m just one of them.”

Lackey says she has signed a contract for four weeks but that could be extended. She says she will choose to sty longer depending on how her family is doing.

New Mexico Coronavirus Resource Guide

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