Lexington nurse goes to New York to battle coronavirus pandemic

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Suzi Frase left Baptist Health Lexington and headed to Interfaith Hospital in Brooklyn to battle the pandemic on the front lines.

“I knew that I just needed to go where it’s the worst, and it’s definitely the worst here,” Frase says.

She says the small hospital is very understaffed, and she says it has a zero percent success rate of saving patients who come in needing a breathing machine. Sadly, after her second day on the job, two of her patients died.

“You’re getting thrown in the deep end, and it’s a very, very deep end,” Frase says.

She says she gets new PPE, personal protective equipment, every morning, but it has to last all day. Her shifts are usually twelve hours, and she sees different patients during that time, so it’s hard to make the gear last.

“My first layer of PPE, the one closest to my skin, I have to tape it together because it will have ripped,” says Frase.

She says because of the exposure that’s bound to happen daily, and the large number of patients, she may test positive for the virus.

The CDC reports more than 9,000 health care workers in the U.S. have tested positive for the coronavirus. But, Frase says she knew what she was signing up for.

“I was prepared for this. It doesn’t make it easy, necessarily, but I still know this is where i need to be,” Frase says.

She’s been sharing her experience on Facebook live in hopes of putting a face on the dire situation and elaborate on the impact as a front line worker. She says there’s a lot of misinformation out there, and people aren’t following CDC guidelines.

“It is as bad as people say that it is,” Frase says. “If more people take it seriously, maybe they’ll wash their hands for an actual 20 seconds. Maybe they will decide to get things online instead of going to the store.”

Frase says she will extend her four-week contract if she’s still needed. If not, she’ll go to another coronavirus hotspot.

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