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Renee's COVID-19 Story

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Hospital news

Lucinda Renee Martin is the Director of Surgical Services at Val Verde Regional Medical Center. “You never think it is going to happen to you…until it does,” Renee said. It started off as a scratch in the back of her throat easily attributable to allergies. Two days later, she knew there was something wrong.

That morning, when she was screened on her way in to work, her temperature was normal. Later on in the day, she did not feel well, and found that she had spiked a high fever, so she went to get tested for COVID-19. She was positive. That meant 14 days of quarantine in a bedroom at her home – away from her husband and five children. Renee’s children range in age from 20 months to 17 years. The older children understood their mother was sick, but the three little ones had to be pulled away from the doors, calling for their Mother. “It was painful and exhausting,” she said, “My husband and I were both in the Navy. We know how to survive separation, but the worst part was having to say goodnight to my kids by phone.”

Despite her strict seclusion, her family also came down with COVID-19 and had to quarantine and recover. “My husband still can’t taste anything,” she said, “but the kids are doing well.”

She is back at work now. “What we’re fighting is biological warfare and everybody is fighting for their lives.” She is concerned about catching the virus again but she was worried before. It’s nothing new. She is a nurse. This is what nurses do.

Renee described what it is like to fight a deadly pandemic in a small, tight knit community. “In healthcare we always hear, ‘treat them like family.’ Well, here, they are your family- literally. Everyone takes it personally. When we lose someone the entire community suffers the loss.” The silver lining is the support one receives from the community. Everyone reaches out to help during times of crisis. People support one another and do whatever they can to help people who are fighting COVID-19. They offer food, compassion and love to those who have lost loved ones. “There were so many people checking up on me; asking me how they could help. It was really amazing.”

Renee is supportive of the assistance VVRMC is receiving from the military. Highly trained and experienced medical personnel are being brought in to support the staff who are fighting so hard for everyone’s health. It has helped to ease the burden on front line staff. “We all just want everyone to be OK. We want to get back to whatever normal is now.”