Three of Which Are My Cousins

We cannot dispute how awesome our first responders have been. They’re risking their lives to save ours and have everything at stake to lose. Although I am licensed as an occupational therapist, I have not been working since the onset of coronavirus because my asthma puts me at higher risk. In the meantime, my love of writing has given me new goals to pursue and things to look forward to. However, I have huge amounts of empathy for people still working tirelessly in as a first responder and in the healthcare field because I have been there. I know how exhausting yet rewarding it is and how many obstacles get in your way of delivering patient care on a daily basis. This is why I’m especially feeling inspired by three of my very own cousins right now. They have had the courage to keep doing what I haven’t and I would like to take the time to show appreciation for each of them and illustrate why each of them have inspired me.

My first cousin’s name is Sarah and she works in southern Ohio as a step down ICU nurse. Not only is she working night shift in a highly vulnerable area of the hospital, but she lives alone far from family and her significant other. Despite everything working against her, she continues to deliver the best patient care she can. She has even gotten awards and recognition for her exceptional nursing care. On top of all this, she STILL wants to go back to school to study to be a nurse practitioner. And the only thing she has asked anyone for? Proper masks so she and her cohorts can continue to do their jobs safely. Go Sarah, I’m so proud of you and cannot wait to give you a big squeeze of a hug when this is all over.

My other cousin I’d like to shout out is Sarah’s brother David. Just to show how exceptional of a human being David is, his initial career plan was to enlist into the US Air Force. They turned him down because of eczema, which seemed silly to me at that time but I certainly didn’t argue. Since then, he’s worked his butt off and is now a firefighter and EMT. Unfortunately, peoples’ other problems didn’t just go away because there’s a pandemic happening. There still continues to be fires people require saving from, cardiac episodes in which people require reviving, and the list goes on. This kid works 24 hour+ shifts to make this happen. Prior to the coronavirus, he had gotten recognized in the local paper for going beyond the call of duty and helping a woman deliver her baby in the back of an ambulance. Fun fact: David showed me around the fire station and told me they don’t have fire poles because it’s an increased liability and requires more insurance coverage. Well David, after this is all said and done you guys definitely deserve poles around the fire station and so much more. Thank you for continuing to go above and beyond the call of duty. I miss you fam.

Last and certainly not least, I’d like to recognize my cousin Mandy. Mandy is also a nurse working full-time at a local Northeast Ohio hospital. Not only does Mandy work 12+ hour shifts, but she is also a full-time mom and as a result, now a full-time teacher. Incidentally, her and her son have already had the scare of potentially having the coronavirus. Luckily, both tested negative. I’m incredibly proud of her for having to juggle so many important roles right now. I don’t know how she does it, but I’m sure I can speak for her kids and patients and say they appreciate her immensely for it. It’s safe to say Mandy definitely has the mental and emotional capacity that not many of us have. Everyone in your care is lucky to have you Mandy. I can only hope and pray that you stay healthy so that during our next family get-together you can make me laugh again.