Arkansas nurses head south to help

arkansas nurses travel to Jefferson Parish to help out

Courtesy: Melissa Moody on Facebook

    FORT SMITH, Ark. (KFSM) — The New Orleans metro area has over 10,000 cases of COVID-19. Two Fort Smith nurses saw the need for help and answered the call on Easter Sunday.

Melissa Moody and Jill Furr say as nurses, they always feel the need to help people and when their company decided to open up a special unit just for coronavirus patients they had to go help.

“We were seeing the news, we were watching social media news media and all of these patients were dying alone,” said Moody.

Heart of Hospice treats patients who are dying and comforts them by accommodating visits from family and friends.

When the coronavirus outbreak hit, social distancing guidelines were implemented and many people were forced to stay away from those that they love.

“These patients have been away from their family for weeks maybe months,” said Moody.

Moody and Furr work in Fort Smith for Heart of Hospice at Baptist Health Hospital.

Their company decided to open up an in-patient unit in New Orleans to treat coronavirus patients.

“I reached out to Jill…and I was like when do we go?” said Moody.

Moody says it typically takes a year to a year and a half to open on of these facilities. But under these circumstances, they opened in just 8 days.

They provide full PPE for those who come to visit so they can be close with their loved ones one last time.

“It’s such an intimate time for a family and you know we don’t want people to die alone,” said Furr.

The nurses say they remember one moment in particular when a son went to visit his father who he hadn’t seen in 10 years.

“When his son came in the room his eyes opened he was wide-eyed I mean he recognized his boys,” said Moody.

Moody has been documenting her time at West Jefferson Hospital in Marrero and says it’s important to show people what this outbreak looks like through the eyes of nurses like her.

“For my family you know I have kids or husband, sisters, brothers, parents, friends, that I could share my experience with,” said Moody.

Melissa and Jill drove down to New Orleans on Easter Sunday and say they don’t have a date set to return but could be there as late as June 30th.

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