Coronavirus In Philadelphia: Jefferson Hospital ER Nurse Forced To Make Emotional Decision For Family

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — An emergency room nurse at Jefferson Hospital is one of many health care workers on the frontlines of the coronavirus pandemic. Kristie Bowen told CBS3 on Saturday that she’s been forced to make an emotional decision for her family.

Bowen says she’s not able to hug her young children.

“I made this initial decision about eight days ago for my kids to stay with my parents for the safety of my children and the health of my parents,” Bowen said. “It’s been rough, but that’s how our nights are typically ending the last couple of nights — me showing up after work and seeing them through the storm door.”

Two children on one side of a storm door, their hard-working emergency room nurse mom on the other.

These are the images capturing the magnitude of the moment.

Bowen says she’s been a nurse for 19 years and she’s never imagined something like this.

The biggest takeaway from the photo Bowen hopes people have is, “please stay home.”

“I know it’s not ideal right now, but we’re seeing the effects firsthand inside the emergency room and the numbers are rising,” she said. “We need to keep everyone safe and it’s the only way we’re going to do this.”

As for her children, she says they love being at her parents.

“But I can’t wait to hold them tight again,” she said.

As for her.

“Hanging in there. Hanging in there,” Bowen said. “I work with a great group of nurses and coworkers at Methodist Emergency Room, and we’re getting through it as a team.”

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Bowen says Jefferson Hospital recently received a big delivery of supplies.

“We are thankful for that. Everyone has shown their support in the community,” she said. “We’ve had food deliveries. We’ve had people in the community who are showing their hearts in their window for health care workers, and we thank them for that.

“We’re hoping that we can get a hold on this soon and we just need to work together and listen to the media and listen to when nurses say stay at home, we mean that.

“We want to make sure that everyone’s healthy and safety comes first.”

Officials announced a fourth death from COVID-19 in Philadelphia on Saturday. The citywide total has now reached 806.