After battling COVID-19, local nurse warns of the severity of the virus amid Louisiana’s partial re-opening

Local News

MONROE, La. (05/12/2020) — Brittany Lewis, R.N. has been one of many on the front lines fighting COVID-19. She’s doing that in The Big Apple, but her nursing journey started in Monroe.

As a travel nurse, her job took her from Ochsner Health to California. However, while vacationing on a cruise back in January, she got sick.

“I felt like a Mack truck hit me. I had a fever, I was weak, I couldn’t breathe.”

Brittany Lewis, R.N., Bellevue Hospital NYC

After 12 days with the virus and three different hospitals, Lewis was told by doctors to go home. Ultimately she ended up beating COVID-19. That’s when she made the next part of her journey to New York City working for Bellevue Hospital.

“I knew I was supposed to be here, but I just didn’t think I was supposed to be enduring all of this stuff while being here.”

Brittany Lewis, R.N., Bellevue Hospital NYC

Lewis says what you see on tv is true, “To see the back of the hospital and to see these trucks being opened and actual bodies being thrown into a truck like fresh meat almost, was quite disturbing,” she remembers.

After losing a cousin the day after starting the new job, Lewis made it her mission to educate others and her number one message is to stay home.

“When I think right now, I have an aunt, uncle, and cousin, one at home, two inpatient that are COVID positive it’s not worth it. When I think of a 19-year-old mother with her first baby due to COVID, it’s not worth it.”

With Louisiana moving into phase one on Friday, she believes that doesn’t mean you have to go out.
But when you do, Lewis says to be mindful of your surroundings by asking these questions.

“Do these businesses have things in place to protect you? When you enter this business does everyone have on masks, what is the handwashing technique, are you decontaminating?” she listed.

When making the choice to get back to normal life, she says picture a family member stuck in a hospital with COVID-19 to ensure you move responsibly.

“Your family member is alone, there’s no one there to advocate for them, there’s no one there to hold their hand,” Lewis pleaded.

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