By Jessica Easthope
For nurses around the world, their scrubs have become their suits of armor, helping them bravely fight a war against an invisible enemy. Jessica Mock wears her armor proudly as an ICU Nurse at a Brooklyn hospital in the epicenter of the COVID-19 crisis.
“Since this all happened we became a COVID positive ICU Unit, so we became critical care nurses and now all my patients were sedated, intubated,“ said Jess.
She’s unfortunately no stranger to loss.
“Back in high school I actually lost my niece Deanna, she was the most bubbly little girl I have ever met, she was perfect,” Jess said. “She had something undeveloped in her brain and that caused her to have a seizure and we lost her at an early age.”
It didn’t take long for Jess to turn a tragedy into a positive and embrace her desire to help others.
“She is why I do what I do,” Jess said of Deanna.
But over the last few months Jess has remembered how much of a toll loss can take.
“I felt like I was seeing more loss than wins, and it was very defeating,” Jess said.
Then something changed.
“He was on a ventilator, a perfectly healthy man, it broke my heart. His fever was very high so I would just pray that he would break it.” Jess said. She saw the fight in that patient.
“I’ve prayed to give strength to my patients to keep fighting for their lives,” Jess said.
His will to live became her strength.
“Within weeks he actually started controlling his breathing, he wasn’t breathing over the vent and within a couple more days he was responsive, and that was my biggest win,” Jess said of her patient.
Among the pain and sorrow of a hospital ICU unit came a glimmer of hope.
“My anxiety and my fear of this whole pandemic, he changed it to hope,” Jess said.
It’s that story of survival that keeps Jess suiting up every day. Her message now to other nurses is the same as it is for her patients.
“We are fighting this together and whether we’re in a different hospital, a different state, my win is your win. We’re saving people, and we’re getting through this,” Jess said.
So for Jess and nurses everywhere: No matter how many wins or losses, it’s your dedication, compassion and the hope you have for your patients that are getting us through this.