With coronavirus affecting millions worldwide, it’s important to highlight those most essential to the fight against it, our frontline workers. These healthcare heroes have dedicated their lives to fight for ours. Though we’ll never be able to thank them adequately, we’d still like to express our gratitude in the one way we know how, with a free RV road trip. These are our heroes. These are their stories.
On February 12, Zachary, a nurse in West Virginia, broke his hip and had emergency surgery. Have you ever heard of a 38-year old with a broken hip? I hadn’t, until now. Three weeks after, he was back at work in the nursing home to help as COVID-19 hit their area. He ultimately began working 12 or more hour shifts on the floor, pushing through the pain just to be there for his patients.
It’s quite obvious why Zachary’s wife, Jaime, nominated him. He works every day with the most susceptible population and does it with a smile on his face despite all the anxiety that comes with the situation.
As an avid runner, athlete, and camper, a healing hip can be a real downer. Sleeping on the ground in a tent? No can do. But a night under the stars in an RV? Done deal. It’s safe to say Zachary, Jaime, and their three children deserve it.
In West Orange, Chris serves one of the most populated and underserved communities in the New Jersey area. When coronavirus cases picked up in early March, the community became one of the most severely impacted in the area, making Chris’ job even more demanding. As an internal medicine resident at St. Joseph’s University Hospital during the pandemic, he has had to step up to the plate, performing CPR, inserting central lines, and doing whatever is needed of him.
Having a great scarcity of personal protective equipment for healthcare workers, Chris had to wear the same N95 for weeks. Like many of our healthcare heroes, he, unfortunately, contracted the virus while working tirelessly for his patients. Still short of breath and fatigued post-recovery, Chris was back to work, caring for ICU patients.
With Chris working 80-hour weeks and using his day off the research and develop treatment models, it’s no surprise his girlfriend, Emily, nominated him. Boy, does he deserve a road trip, and you bet we’re going to give him one.
Amanda is a registered nurse from Louisville, Kentucky and has been manning the frontlines in the ICU since mid-March. Her patients have been in isolation rooms, away from their family and support systems. That said, she has served not only as their nurse but also their support, showing them the compassion and care they need to survive.
“She lives every day with a positive outlook, and that’s exactly the way she’s cared for these incredibly sick patients,” her sister and nominator, Miranda, says. I mean, just look at her! You can see the smile on her face, even with a mask on!
While in nursing school, Amanda thought she might go into the field of travel nursing, but has yet to pursue that as her family is in Louisville. But, this doesn’t mean she can’t do travel and nursing separately. I hope she’s getting ready to check Antelope Canyon off her bucket list because she’ll be heading out west!
An X-ray technologist and mother in North Haven, Connecticut, Heather has been hard at work, both at her job and at home. Jason, her nominator and husband, can’t help but sing her praises saying, “Heather makes sure there is dinner on the table always, laundry is done, house is clean.” Homeschooling their children, Heather, even after a long day’s work, helps them with their assignments and organizes their next day of schoolwork.
If you didn’t already think Heather is a hero, let us tell you something else about her. Both her parents came down with COVID-19, leaving her to take care of them and her 93-year old grandmother. “She is always putting others before herself; everyone she knows is a priority to her,” Jason says, and that’s genuinely apparent. If anyone needs some time away from home, it’s this lady.
We love our nurses, and this registered nurse is no exception. In Arvada, Colorado, Andy works as a charge nurse in the recovery room. With elective cases in the operating put to a halt, once the virus hit, Andy was asked to move to the ICU department to care for infected patients. Though he hadn’t worked in the ICU for eight years, he took on the job. With that, he has self-quarantined in the basement and worn a mask around the house, keeping the health of his wife and two boys in mind.
Long hours in the ICU, treating coronavirus patients daily can be emotionally and physically exhausting, to say the least. Kelly, Andy’s wife, nominated him because she thinks this hard work should be rewarded with a little R&R, and so do we.
Nominate a Healthcare Hero
If you or someone you know is on the frontlines and is in need of a bit (or a bunch) of rest, recreation, and road-tripping, nominate them. With our Healthcare Hero Program, Outdoorsy is donating free trips to people like them every week. If they’re anything like these five, the gift of a road trip is undoubtedly warranted.
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