Darcy Mainville ’15, Loma Linda University My experience with COVID could be summarized in 2 words: ‘roller coaster’. In the ED, I have had several shifts waiting for the "the COVID tent" to fill with several patients so I could don PPE and go examine them all at once. Most were fine to go home a nd I remember the helpless look people had while telling them, "You may have it, but I don’t have the ability to test for it, please come back if you get worse." As an intensivist, I had the privilege to work alongside many other creative minds to try and improve intubation, extubation, and high-risk procedures safety in the ICU. Personally, I watched as an immigrant, while changes to immigration and green card process left me and my family wondering if we would be able to stay at work in this country in the middle of the pandemic. Now, I find myself hoping that the crisis portion is near an end and we can move forward to the healing portion of this experience.
We would like to share your experiences battling COVID-19. It could be as short as a few sentences on how it’s impacted your clinic or hospital to stories of crisis or hope during this uncertain time. If you have something to share, please use the form below. Thank you for taking the time to share.
Support medical students affected by the crisis caused by COVID-19. A donation to our Emergency Student Fund will enable the Alumni Association, in conjunction with the LLU School of Medicine Dean’s Office, to provide emergency support to students affected by the coronavirus.
Ensuring our health care workers are protected and have adequate supplies is a top priority. Loma Linda University Health is accepting donations of new and unused critical care supplies for our providers, including personal protective equipment (PPE).
Kathleen Valenzuela ’19, Loma Linda University I felt defeated whenever the COVID-19 patients didn’t do well, especially when we gave all that we could give that was medically available at the time.
Brett Schaeffer ’17, Loma Linda University The MICU was the ‘bus stop’ for all ICU level of care patients. Everything would come through us and when ‘cleared’ would travel on to the appropriate service (SICU, NMCCS, CCU, etc). Thankfully, many of those patients continued on their journey to the next service and did not have to have a permanent ‘stop’.
Laren Tan ’09, Loma Linda University Due to visitor restrictions, the phrase ‘seeing is believing’ during the COVID19 outbreak has taken a new meaning when attempting to describe over the phone how deathly ill a patient is to their loved ones. No longer is the clinician able to see and interpret the body language of family members and similarly, the scarcity of loved ones present while a patient dies strikes at the heart of humanity and reminds us of the importance of being physically present.
Dafne Moretta ’11, Loma Linda University I used to find comfort in the phrase, ‘We’ll do everything we can to keep him alive until you get here.’ Not anymore. This virus has robbed us of the opportunity to keep patients alive, and the possibility of dying among the presence of their loved ones. Mourning in isolation has been overwhelming for families and for us. We have all been forced to find creative ways to connect patients with families and continue keeping everyone safe. One divine promise has kept me and possibly some of us going: ‘So don’t be afraid. I am here, with you; don’t be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, help you. I am here with My right hand to make right and to hold you up.’ Isaiah 41:10.
Nick Walters ’89, Bangkok Adventist Hospital, Bangkok, Thailand. My first patient with suspected COVID-19 was more than a month ago. She was a 24-year-old woman with some autoimmune disease who came into the hospital with cough and fever and deteriorated rapidly over the next few to 4 days and was put on a ventilator and 48 hours later passed away. The second and third patients with it in their 60s got better and went home a week later. We just trust in God that I don't get it and that my wife does not get it from me. This is where the NEWSTART lifestyle is needed. Our chaplain has been making short NEWSTART videos of 1 to 2 minutes each and posting them online then passing out cards in the community with a QR link to the videos. Our hospital just passed out 1000 bags of rice, oil, and noodles to people in the slum just 200 meters from our hospital. Many of whom are day laborers who have lost their jobs due to COVID-19. Our hospital staff volunteered their time to put the bags together. Picture is our homemade COVID-19 transport device made of blue plastic...