A BRAVE Intensive Care Unit nurse working at a hospital in America has offered up a first-hand account of the terrifying reality facing any coronavirus patient put on a ventilator.
Jake Savoie’s brutally honest account was posted on Facebook alongside a picture of him wearing the personal protective equipment he is required to wear while doing his job.
Jake felt compelled to offer a glimpse of the reality facing many after becoming dismayed at the number of people still not taking coronavirus seriously.
His account not only provided a glimpse of the heroic and harrowing work being done by healthcare professionals across the planet but also the frightening prospect of dying alone being faced by countless thousands all over the world.
"Seeing the amount of people who still aren’t taking this seriously is upsetting,” he wrote.
"In the weeks leading up to this virus finally reaching our area, I read a lot of articles & viral posts warning me of the physical demands that this outbreak would place on me as an ICU nurse.
"I mentally prepared myself for the layers upon layers of PPE that I would be wearing, the profuse amount of sweating that I would be doing, etc...however, I was not prepared for the intense emotions that I’d be experiencing."
He explained how coronavirus patients have no "normal human interaction" in his hospital until they finally test negative for the virus.
"The PPE you see in my picture is just a glimpse of what a suspected/positive COVID patient sees at all hours of the day/night whenever ANYONE is required to enter their room (the room in which they spend all other hours ALONE),” he said.
"These patients have no normal human interaction from the moment they step inside the hospital until they are officially declared negative, until the virus has run its course, or until they sadly take their last breath.
"My heart broke more & more each time that I’d walk into a patient’s room and see the fear in their eyes.
"Think about this the next time you consider going out because you are tired of your only human interaction being through FaceTime or with those in your household."
Jake said how it is the job of the nurse to tell patients sad news, like the fact they are going to need to be placed on a ventilator and that this news is often received alone with only healthcare workers for support because it is too risky for family members to be close to them.
"Once again, they receive this frightening news ALONE & their only source of comfort/emotional support is from myself, another nurse, physician, respiratory therapist, or CNA dressed in full PPE,” he said.
"One of the most difficult things I’ve ever done as a nurse is tell a grown adult with tears in my eyes that the moment they feared most has come - "...very soon you will see me & a doctor enter your room with even more protective gear to place you on a ventilator, but I will be with you the whole time...just pretend that I’m one of your own children holding your hand."
Jake rounded off his post with a simple plea: stay at home and do your bit to ensure as few people as possible have to go through this kind of experience.
"Think about this the next time you decide to invite a group of people over because you’re bored & lonely,” he said.
"These patients aren’t the only ones affected during all of this. Their family members are at home constantly wondering if they’re safe, taken care of, afraid, comfortable...if their hair is brushed the way it usually is...if they are sleeping with two pillows the way that they usually do...if they have someone to pray with before eating supper like they usually do at home.
"Their nurses/doctors/RTs/CNAs/entire care team are feeling defeated because they want so badly to help but we’ve exhausted all treatment options, medications & ventilator settings. Think about this the next time you decide to ignore elected officials’ warnings/advisories because “this is all a political stunt”.