Kris Buckley spent three weeks caring for several patients battling COVID-19 in New York City.
“Helping people that didn’t have anyone else able to be there for them,” Buckley said. “They can’t have visitors or family in the hospitals.”
As positive cases continued to rise in New York, Buckley said he wanted to lend a hand. He helped patients heal and comforted others as they died.
Buckley works as a registered nurse for OU Medicine and Good Shepherd Hospice. He was joined by other nurses who made the trek to the East Coast.
“I was nervous,” Buckley said. “I am sort of in the higher-risk group. I have asthma, so that was a big concern for me.”
Buckley worked at Bellevue Hospital in Manhattan, working 19 of 21 days there.
“Working every day, 12 to 14 hours, I was basically coming up to the room and cleaning up and going to bed so I could get back up in a few hours and go straight back to the hospital,” Buckley said.
Buckley said his time in New York City opened his eyes to how serious this virus has been for some residents. He believes the country could be reopening too quickly and warns people must continue to take proper precautions.
Though it was a lot of hard work, Buckley was still able to communicate with loved ones back home.
“I know a lot of people back here (in Oklahoma) were concerned about the situation, so I was constantly trying to alleviate those concerns with my family,” Buckley said.
Buckley self-quarantined for two weeks when he arrived back to the metro. He expects to start working again next week.