I knew it was my call of duty to be there to serve my patients.
Eilyana was born February 1, 2020, to Bethany and Jonah Knorr. When Bethany left work for maternity leave, it was during what appeared to be a typical cold and flu season. “We heard whisperings of a new virus overseas at the time,” Bethany said. “But nothing we thought would affect us directly here in Rhode Island.”
After a few weeks on maternity leave and isolating with her baby, the anticipation of going back to work was overwhelming. “It was daunting,” Bethany said. “I was concerned what I might bring home to my daughter.”
Bethany returned to work May 4, 2020, at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Thinking of her newborn baby, she was extremely conscientious about the decontaminating process. “I worked 10-hour shifts,” Bethany said. “Then I would sneak through the back door and use a bathroom we isolated in our home just for decontaminating. The process of showering, changing clothes, and laundering clothing took another hour. Only then could I see my baby.” And then the process began all over the next day.
But Bethany never hesitated. “In my mind, I knew it was my call of duty to be there to serve my patients.” She continues, “My situation was far from unique. There were several new moms dealing with similarly challenging circumstances among our staff.” For Bethany, her experiences as a critical care provider gave her a unique perspective and she had compassion for the thousands of others who were suffering both directly and indirectly as a result of COVID-19.
She gives credit to her coworkers who helped give her the personal strength needed to complete her assignments and serve patients on the frontlines. “We banded together and empathized with one another in our struggle.” Now that her baby is a year old, she couldn’t be more proud of her team’s efforts to serve their patients this last year. “It was an overwhelming year, but hope is around the corner.”