SAN DIEGO — It's National Nurses Week, and News 8 has been honoring local nurses with a series of stories that highlight some of their new challenges and sacrifices, as they treat patients with COVID-19.
For Mother's Day, as a tribute to all nurses who are also moms, News 8 is profiling two women working on the front lines. They have different stories to tell about life during the pandemic, but one thing they have in common is the amazing support from their families.
Nurse Robin Daynes has spent more than 40 nights in a hotel to protect her family. Her youngest son has Down syndrome and is more prone to respiratory problems and another son has asthma. Her husband Rick also has asthma and donated a kidney 18 months ago, so as a family, they decided it was safest for Robin to stay in a hotel.
"He's Mr. Mom, Mr. Dad, he's been Mr. Everything," said Robin, "so, 'Happy Mother's Day to Rick!'"
"We miss you and we love you, and we can't wait for you to get back," Rick said during a Zoom call News 8's Marcella Lee had with Robin and her family.
Robin only works part-time, with three shifts every two weeks, but because she's typically unable to give herself 14 days between pay periods, she stays away. She's hopeful that in the future, as test results get processed more quickly, she can go home for a few days at a time. Until then, she said, she will stay in a hotel.
"If I were to take this home to my family, and something were to happen, I could never forgive myself," Robin said through tears. "And so for me, it's very real and it's very scary, but I also know what I need to do and I just do it and we move on, so that's why I'm in a hotel room."
Kristy Patterson is a mom of three and she agrees being a nurse during this pandemic has taken an emotional toll.
"My biggest fear would be to bring something home to my family and get them sick," she said. Kristy lives in Temecula and works at Kaiser Permanente's Fontana Medical Center, where fellow nurses have had to be hospitalized due to COVID-19.
"After you worked your shift when you've taken care of COVID-19 positive patients, you get home, laying in bed, thinking, 'Did I wear my protective gear? Did I wash my hands?," Kristy said.
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Kristy follows a strict decontamination routine when she gets home. Her husband immediately puts her work clothing in the washing machine and disinfects everything she took to the hospital.
Her family is showing their support by making face shields on 3D printers. 17-year-old Wyatt, with help from his sisters and dad, has made more than 200 so far.
"He's really perfected his mask to make sure they're more comfortable for us," said Kristy.
Wyatt uses foam and a thick yet lightweight plastic shield and has customized the fit so it is as comfortable as possible.
She said coworkers who have had to perform CPR have told her they didn't even notice it on their face while performing the life-saving procedure.
Kristy is a nurse. Her husband Darin is a paramedic and retired firefighter, so you could say it's in Wyatt's DNA to help others.
"It's a little peace of mind that she will be better protected from getting sick," said Wyatt.
As a mom, she's used to taking care of her family, but now her children, especially Wyatt, are taking care of her.
"It's amazing. I am so extremely proud of him, that he not only wants to take care of me, but wants to take care of our community, front line workers, and our doctors."
The family has donated a lot of their own materials but has also received support from the community for supplies to make the face shields through a Go Fund Me page. Wyatt has made 200 face shields so far and says he will make as many as needed.
On this Mother's Day, News 8 honors these two moms, Kristy and Robin, and the countless nurses and families who are sacrificing so much.