The daughter of a VA nurse in Brockton who ended up on a ventilator told his story about contracting the coronavirus.
2020欧洲杯预选赛赛程BROCKTON – A registered nurse who worked in a psychiatric ward at the Brockton VA is now on a ventilator, fighting for his life, after contracting the coronavirus at work, according to his daughter.
"Now we just have to wait and pray and hope," said Mary Ann Daniels, a physical therapist from Sandwich. "This disease is so devastating. Most people get to hold their dad's hand when they are going through this horrible thing. He's there at the hospital alone."
Mary Ann Daniels said her 67-year-old father, a registered nurse from Norton, contracted the coronavirus while working at the Brockton VA, getting tested after showing symptoms on Monday, April 6, including a cough, a low grade fever and body aches. For a week after that, her father insisted he was okay, staying at home until the following Monday when he felt very weak, having trouble even getting up to go to the bathroom, struggling with shortness of breath, Daniels said. First he was brought by ambulance to Sturdy Memorial Hospital in Attleboro, before he was transferred to Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, where he remained Monday morning on a ventilator getting oxygen in critical condition, she said.
"Literally, within a day, he was in the ICU on a ventilator," said Daniels, reached on Sunday. "That's how quickly this can turn. ... We're trying to just be hopeful. He has a lot of people praying for him. So many people have reached out and have said how much they are rooting for him."We can deliver news just like this directly to your inbox. You can sign up for This Just In (a daily 7:30 p.m. newsletter with items we've posted that day), News Alerts (so you don't miss anything important) and more. It's customized to your preferences -- and it'll only take a few seconds.
Daniels asked for The Enterprise not to publish her father's name, out of respect for him being "a very private person," while also wanting to share his story as a warning to others about the seriousness of the coronavirus, how suddenly the life-threatening symptoms can develop, and the need for personal protective equipment in healthcare settings.
(Editor's note: This content is being provided for free as a public service to our readers during the coronavirus outbreak. Please support local journalism by subscribing to The Enterprise.)
Daniels said her father has underlying health conditions, including high blood pressure and a heart condition called atrial fibrillation. Daniels said her father was planning to retire at the end of this year, after 15 years as a nurse at the Brockton VA, with the majority of his time there spent working in a detox unit. Daniels switched mid-career to become a nurse after working doing electrical repairs at Dictaphone Corporation.
"We wanted him to stop working," Daniels said. "He was going to retire at the end of the year. He insisted on going into work to help people. That's the kind of guy he is."
The Brockton VA nurse is one of 63 employees of the VA Boston Health Care System to test positive for COVID-19, according to information provided on Sunday by a VA spokesperson. In total, 4,000 people work for the VA Boston Health Care System, which includes the Brockton hospital campus and other medical facilities in Jamaica Plain and West Roxbury.
2020欧洲杯预选赛赛程Daniels said the VA wasn't doing enough early on to get employees access to masks and other personal protective equipment, even though people like her father were exposed to VA patients with symptoms. Daniels said she believes her father was exposed in early April to the coronavirus by a psychiatric patient who had symptoms, or a fellow employee who also tested positive.
2020欧洲杯预选赛赛程"I think things weren't done appropriately at the VA in terms of getting people PPE in time," she said. "Now it sounds like they are doing it. He definitely didn't have a mask when he was treating this patient. ... The outcome could have been different. It's very frustrating looking back on."
Daniels also said her family felt "abandoned" by his employer because they never received a call to check up on his condition.
2020欧洲杯预选赛赛程VA Boston Health Care System issued a response to a request for comment on this story, stating that the VA provided masks to all employees starting in late March, always meeting levels of personal protective equipment recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
2020欧洲杯预选赛赛程"VA Boston Health Care System initiated COVID-specific infection prevention measures and provided appropriate personal protective equipment for all staff prior to any COVID-19 patients presenting to the Brockton campus," according to a statement provided by a VA spokesperson. "On March 27, we moved to a universal mask policy, providing individual masks to each employee as they entered our facilities, including our Brockton campus."
2020欧洲杯预选赛赛程VA Boston Healthcare System also said its infection rates among employees are comparable to other large hospitals, but the Brockton VA is remaining vigilant.
"We are working closely with all our employees and patients to mitigate any risks and maintain infection prevention measures that align with CDC guidelines and our community affiliates," the VA Boston Healthcare System said. "Our employees are doing an amazing job under pressure, and always have an open line of communication with leadership for support."
Daniels, a married mother with a 2-year-old daughter who's pregnant with another child, said it's difficult seeing comments and posts on social media from people who believe the coronavirus is being blown out of proportion. For some people, including Daniels' mother who also contracted the coronavirus, it can result in mild fevers, a cough and other flu-like symptoms. But for others, like her dad, it can be life-threatening, leaving him on a ventilator, pumping concentrated oxygen into his lungs to keep him alive.
2020欧洲杯预选赛赛程"I wouldn't wish this on anyone," she said. "I know some people have it fairly mild. It's seriously devastating for some people. It's awful and it moves quickly. This disease is not like anything we've seen before. He didn't realize it almost until it was too late."