SAN ANTONIO – A San Antonio registered nurse who spent most of 2020 caring for COVID-19 patients in several Texas cities and New York is reflecting on what it was like to work on the front lines and how the pandemic changed her life forever.
Shirley SaintLouis spent 77 days working in New York.
“We had 200, 300 patients -- all on ventilators at one time. For me, it was something out of a nightmare,” SaintLouis said.
SaintLouis also spent a lot of time caring for COVID-19 patients in Houston, El Paso and San Antonio.
“If it continues in a way that it’s been going, I just fear that, you know, we’re going to run out of nurses being able to help ... because we’re definitely drained,” SaintLouis said.
SaintLouis is currently working in a San Antonio hospital and continues to work with COVID-19 patients who have severe symptoms.
“We’re definitely being hit here because that’s all I’ve been working with, is COVID-19 patients that are on life support,” SaintLouis said.
There are many things SaintLouis says she learned this year.
“I don’t take the small things for granted anymore. I’m big on kindness. Big on just being there for people, helping people out,” SaintLouis said.
She urges the public to continue taking COVID-19 precautions.
“Make sure that we’re wearing our masks and maintaining the six feet apart,” SaintLouis said.
For now, she will stay in San Antonio to be closer to her family.
“Just trying to be around my girls as much as possible, and while doing so, while extending myself to San Antonio to help out as well,” SaintLouis said.