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NEW ORLEANS — Amanda Thibodeaux is a pediatric nurse at LCMC’s Children’s Hospital in the Uptown area of the city. Early in the coronavirus pandemic, Children’s Hospital did not see the huge spike in cases due to children being less susceptible to the disease.

But other LCMC hospitals were dealing with maximum numbers of patients in their ICUs, so Thibodeaux volunteered to leave Children’s to help at New Orleans East Hospital which had every ICU bed filled with coronavirus patients.

“I am young. I am healthy. I do not have children that I could bring the virus home to,” Thibodeaux told WGNO for her reason to volunteer. “I do not live with elderly parents.”

Thibodeaux would spend the next three weeks working at the NOEH ICU, a hospital that reported as many as four deaths from Covid-19 in just one day. At one point, Thibodeaux told another member of the ICU team that, as a pediatric nurse, she felt a little out of her element.

“The nurse responded, letting me know that this was out of their element.”

Slowly, the numbers fell and more patients were discharged from the hospital after recovering. Thibodeaux says she’s a better nurse after volunteering to be on the front lines of the pandemic.

“I was like, ‘This is what I’m good at. This is what I’m meant to do’,” she said. “You just gotta keep pushing, keep showing up. And if this is where you’re needed right now, then this is where you need to be.”

For more of Thibodeaux’s story, click on the video at the top of this page.