SWFL nurse anesthetist returns after serving on the front lines in New York

Reporter: Stephanie Byrne

Through the ups…

“It definitely improved immensely over the time I was there.”

…and downs…

“There was just a lot more bad outcomes than I was used to.”

Jonathan, a Fort Myers nurse anesthetist is back home after serving on the front lines in Queens, New York.

“Someone comes in for surgery to get their knee replaced, you think, ‘Ah in a month, their knee will be feeling better, they’ll be out playing golf or whatever they’re doing,’ but you know, with these patients it’s very emotionally difficult because you knew a lot of them were going to have bad outcomes,” he said.

Being at one of the coronavirus hot spots presented some unexpected hardships too, like being away from his wife and kids…

“God bless her for staying home for three weeks, or three-and-a-half weeks, with my kids,” Jonathan said. “She’s probably the real hero in this whole situation.”

…while helping other families reconnect.

“All throughout the day and all throughout the evening, I would take phone calls from family members and update them,” he said.

Nurse anesthetist Jonathan with his wife and kids. (Provided to WINK News)

But as time went on during his stay, “There was less admissions to the hospitals, there was less patients being admitted to ICUs, there’s less patients being on ventilators, there’s less patients using certain drugs we use to treat it,” he said.

A welcome development after a physically and emotionally demanding task.

“Towards the end, I felt like me and all the other nurse anesthetists and nurses from all over the country were doing something to make a difference,” he said, making a difference during extraordinary times.

Several other nurses have traveled from SWFL to help coronavirus patients up north. We wish them well and thank them for their efforts.

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