By LESLIE EIKLEBERRY
It's easy to see that April Dickey has great compassion for others.
When reports started rolling in about the dire straits under which New York City medical personnel were working due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Salina nurse practitioner knew she needed to do something. For nearly a week now, Dickey has been working 12-hour overnight shifts at Lincoln Hospital in the Bronx.
"I wanted to help my brothers and sisters during this crisis to help provide comfort and care to the patients. These patients only have us to comfort them as loved ones aren't allowed to be by their side," Dickey told Salina Post early this morning. "The staff and hospitals are overwhelmed and working so hard. I couldn't just sit on the sidelines knowing patients and staff were suffering."
April had high praise for the medical personnel in New York City.
"I just want to commend the staff at Lincoln Hospital and all of the medical professionals and first responders. Despite the chaos and sadness, they all remain positive and provide compassionate care to all of their patients. It's been an honor working beside them," she noted.
April left Salina last Thursday to work a 21-day rotation at Lincoln Hospital. Back home, her husband, Tony, and their two children are anxiously awaiting her return.
Tony told Salina Post that at first, he didn't want April to go to New York City.
"I said one week, she came back with two weeks and actually got the three weeks she wanted from me. I've deployed twice since we've been married so I understand what she feels," noted Tony, a sergeant in the United States Army.
"What I wasn't expecting is how strange it is to be at home without her," he continued. "The kids are 11 and 17. They are used to me being gone quite a bit but, it was different this time for them. I mean it's mom. They are coping well though."
Once April finishes her rotation, she will have to be quarantined for 14 days before returning to her family, Tony said.
For now, April has a message for the people back home in Salina.
"I want people back home to know that the stay safe at home order is what it will take to flatten the curve. So many people have been affected. New York is a busy state. People were accustomed to walking around amongst large crowds and since the COVID outbreak, people were silently spreading this horrific virus. I want to encourage people to continue to stay home and stay safe and, of course, vigilant washing and sanitizing. This virus doesn't discriminate by age, health status, gender, or race," April told Salina Post.