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Valley nurse working with COVID patients in New Jersey

Posted at 5:56 PM, Apr 16, 2020

She is a mother and a nurse who has had to make a very difficult decision. Despite having three children under the age of 5 at home, registered nurse Marcie Gest said she felt compelled to help the call for help from understaffed hospitals dealing with may COVID-19 patients in New York and New Jersey.

Gest said it was a tough conversation to have with her family, and after some discussion, they agreed it would be New Jersey.

"When this started I just felt very compelled and called to join, you know going to help out in the hard-hit areas. I just felt like I have the ability to help. I'm young, I'm healthy, and there are so many people in need. I just felt, I don't know I just felt like it was my duty I guess," said Gest.

She will now spend the next two months working on the COVID floors of the Robert Wood Johnson University Medical Center's Monmouth campus.

"It sounds like they're getting a lot of carryover from the hospitals in New York, they're running out of beds so they are coming there," said Gest.

New Jersey has been hit hard with COVID-19. The latest numbers from the state health department show more than 75,000 positive coronavirus cases and more than 3,500 deaths today.

Gest says there is no doubt she'll miss her family and three children, a 1-year-old, 3-year-old, and a boy who will turn five this weekend.

"It is very emotional, my 1-year-old hasn't started walking yet but she is at that point. I know that I'm going to miss her first steps. I'm also going to miss my son's birthday," said Gest.

While she knows it will be tough, she is focused on helping those suffering from COVID-19 in some of the hardest-hit areas of our country.

"I know it's going to be really emotionally draining for me because I'll be there with these people that are dying, and when I call home my kids will be missing me," said Gest.

"It makes me nervous, but at the same time I know that I will take the proper precautions to make sure I have my personal protective gear," she added.

Marcie has been able to ten weeks off from her job as a home hospice nurse supervisor. She has spent the last ten years working as a registered nurse, a big chunk of it at the Chandler Regional Medical Center.

She will have to self-quarantine for two weeks after coming back home from New Jersey.