Frontline healthcare workers on LI spend Christmas battling COVID-19

From the NICU nurse at NYU Langone Hospital Long Island:

"It wouldn’t be Christmas if I wasn’t working," Bisma Sheikh said.

To the ER nurse at Good Samaritan:

"You want to be happy and do the best with a smile even though you can’t see it through the masks," said Pauline Calderon.

Frontline workers throughout Long Island are on the job this Christmas.

"We’re all committed to just taking care of people to make them feel better and help them heal," said Mike Mills, a chef at Huntington Hospital.

"I knew I’d have to come to work on a holiday, I knew I’d have to work on weekends, but to me that’s all giveback to the gift of healing someone and take care of them," said emergency department physician Dr. David Kugler with Plainview Hospital. 

While not everyone celebrates...

"I always try to work Christmas because for a lot of folks it’s the most important holiday for them," said Dr. Stefan Muehlbauer, chairman of Emergency Medicine at St. Francis Hospital.

Those who do tell us it’s part of the job they signed up for.

"I love helping people especially right now it’s hard for families to come in so they lean on the staff here to kind of use their empathy," said Anthony Lucito, a nurse with Mount Sinai South Nassau Hospital.

And in the age of coronavirus their job is more important now than ever before. So if that means doing whatever it takes - like FaceTiming with a patient’s family to make them feel connected...

"We’ll do as many as it takes," said Cynthia Kramer, a nurse with South Shore Hospital. "We’re trying to keep our spirits up, we’re just going to power through it and we’re looking forward to the end of the year and have some hope for the future."

They’re doing it because they care.

"The best gift we can give anyone in the community in the community is to reassure them we’re taking care of their loved ones and god forbid they need our help, we’re there to help them," Muehlbauer said.

They’re our healthcare heroes— who feel equally as fortunate to be on the frontline.

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