In honor of Nurses Week on Wednesday, May 6 – Tuesday, May 12 it means everything to us to honor our nurses and to look at life through the eyes of those who look at and deal with the horror, the havoc and even the hope this crisis brings every single day. They do not consider themselves heroes necessarily, but they bravely and courageously report to work in the spirit of service with a huge heart of giving and gratitude. Sugaberry salutes every nurse the worldover, who has chosen selflessness, kindness, and courage in a time we’ve never witnessed before now.
Retired ICU RN, Student Registered Nurse Anesthetist, Khadijah Lyons
Ready for war! I must admit I did not take this virus #covid_19 seriously at first. I did not think it would come to this. I have seen firsthand what it is doing to people MY AGE! My heart breaks for them. As nurses we talk to family members on the phone daily, but this hits different. Being the only voice between your patient and their spouse of 10 years. Telling that spouse that visitation is suspended but they can call me to talk and get any updates they need. You can hear the fear in their voice and it is heartbreaking Praying for each and every single one of us. Thank you to my team of nurses and doctors. You all are incredible.
ER Nurse, Tanaeya Bradley – Thai’s Cousin
“As an ER nurse in NYC, my COVID experience has been indescribable. I have seen patients fighting to take their next breath, spent an entire shift watching the oxygen saturation on a monitor, done multiple rounds of CPR on a COVID-positive patient during a code or even held a hand just to provide the smallest amount of comfort. As an only child from a single parent household, this virus has stolen a small luxury I’ve taken for granted for 30 years, a simple hug from my mother. I feel guilty for complaining because COVID has claimed so many mothers, fathers, wives, daughters and friends. The virus does not discriminate by color, class or creed. Although I have heard the words “Health Hero,” uttered by the masses, I am nothing of the sort. I am a woman blessed with an amazing team and the knowledge and ability to help her fellow man. This fight against the virus has been a challenge, but determination, perseverance and faith have gotten us through. I will continue to serve and pray for our nation and the world. Take this time during the quarantine to attend to the things that matter: your health, your family and mental health. Stay safe, stay healthy and stay inside.”
– In solidarity,
Tanaeya Bradley RN, BSN, SCRN
Nursing Supervisor, Deborah Ann Gatson – Tika’s Cousin
“Having practiced Emergency and Trauma Clinical Nursing and having given direct care to multiple and diverse populations through the entire AIDS and HIV crisis, 9/11 World Trade Center bombing, Hurricanes Sandy and Katrina, I can firmly say that the impact that COVID has had on New York will long last for multiple decades to come.
COVID has become the great equalizer of the environment, families, races, religious beliefs, and governments. Nothing planned by man in historical and future events has created more of a challenge to the universe as we know it, as the COVID-19 pandemic.
As I write this response, I am crying because I have stopped the everyday challenge of caring for others to actually think about my work families. My nursing staff, colleagues, and co-workers have been shaken by this crisis. We have lost friends and family members dear to us. And it hurts so very bad not to be able to see them, hold them and cry with them through our shared illness and sometimes ultimate deaths.
We pray, we huddle and we plan together on how we can improve tomorrow. We go home and pray while socially distancing from the people we call our families and keep them safe and encouraged.
I must tell you however about the pride I feel to probably end my 40-year career with the finest health care providers on earth.
The North Brooklyn Gotham Health Nursing, Medical, and Environmental Staff are beyond the cream of the crop. I am proud to be among them, working daily, side by side at a testing site in Williamsburg Brooklyn. We come to work focused to allay the community’s fears while delivering professional testing expertise in a compassionate, caring and humble manner.
I just love coming to work with each one of them and I pray they feel the same way. They are my favorite people on this planet!!!!
One of my inspirations is spoken in the words of Michelle Obama, “You may not always have a comfortable life and you will not always be able to solve all of the world’s problems at once but don’t ever underestimate the importance you can have because history has shown us that
courage can be contagious and hope can take on a life of its own.””
Deborah is one of two Nursing Supervisors of the North Brooklyn Gotham Health Network. With her executive team she supervises 8 clinics with 51 nursing employees of various nursing titles. Deborah is also president of the union of another larger clinic and school-based health clinic sites with more than 26 registered nurses, and nurse practitioners. She began her career in nursing in the Oncology Service, in 1980 at the Long Island College Hospital in Brooklyn, New York. Nearly three years later she was recruited by Kings County Hospital’s Emergency Department and worked in Emergency Services for 26 years, in multiple roles including staff nurse, head nurse, clinician, and nursing unit director. With Gotham Health Network, of her multifaceted responsibilities, Gatson is the coordinator for the Vaccine For Children Program at four sites; the Primary Care Medical Home lead for four sites, the lead for Shared Governance for Gotham Health’s more than 55 facilities, and is responsible for approximate Infection Control at four sites.