Hero Nurse Volunteers In COVID-19 Hot Spots


  • Tonya Waddell, a Virginia dialysis nurse, volunteered to work in coronavirus hot spots when the pandemic broke out.
  • It is rough but she’s doing her best and she keeps going because she can’t stand seeing people getting sick and dying.
  • What keeps her strong is the love she gets from her family.

Tonya Waddell is a 45-year-old dialysis nurse for 9 long years at Fresenius Kidney Care, Martinsville, Virginia. She takes care of her five kids and her mother who has cancer. She has been volunteering across the country to help combat the COVID-`19 pandemic and currently, she is assigned at a hospital somewhere near Houston, Texas.

When the pandemic broke out, she volunteered to work in the hot spots because it was hard for her to just watch the news of people getting sick and dying. So, right after her 45th birthday, on April 11, she went to Newark, New Jersey, and worked for 14 hrs on her first day there.

Photo Credit: Tonya Waddell

The kind of patients she tended to were mostly with acute kidney condition as a complication caused by the COVID-19. She spent long hours patients and taking care of their dialysis. 

After two weeks in Newark, she transferred to Boston and worked there for three weeks. Then she went to work in Chicago for two weeks as well. 

The supply of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) has dwindled and it was difficult to get one right away. She even had to use gowns and masks for two or three times at some point before she was to get new ones. 

She has seen her patients struggle and many of them were on ventilators and couldn’t talk. 

Photo Credit: Tonya Waddell

“Fear can take over if you let your mind run rampant, thinking, ‘Oh God, what if I get this?’ and being upset for your patients. Your mind is running, and you usually don’t have anyone to talk to. There was no way to prepare for this,” she said.

It was a little consolation for them nurses to be able to chat and catch up with each other during lunch breaks sitting 6 feet apart. They even nicknamed themselves with the states they came from — and she was of course, Miss Virginia. 

After shift, she would call her family and chat with them. It was really tough and she was missing them all. But what keeps her going is her family’s love. 

Her middle child, Billy, even sent her a message: “I’m very proud of you. You are a strong and outgoing person and a great mother the best I could ever ask for honestly. Yes, I miss you and there are times that I wished you could be here and times I wished I could hug you and tell you you’re doing great. I believe God called you to do great things like that for people.”

Right now, she’s stationed near Houston, Texas, and she’s ready to face all the challenges ahead of her because she knows, she’s making a difference.

Source: PEOPLE.Com


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