Brooke Grooms, ’01, ’07, ‘09
2001-Bachelors of Science, with molecular concentration
2007-Bachelor of Science in Nursing
2009-Masters in Public Administration
Masters of Science in Nursing, Family Nurse Practitioner from UNCW
Employed by Southeastern Health
Grooms assisted with the COVID testing drive thru that was set up at the Health Park on Dawn drive, but due to the change in recommendations by CDC it was closed down days later.
Grooms also provided care at the recently opened Respiratory Clinic set up in the old wound care building on 27th street assessing, screening, and treating patients with any respiratory issues, and, if suspected COVID, they were sent to ER.
She volunteered for a 21-day assignment to New York City to assist on the front lines in the COVID crisis. She was stationed at Jacobi Medical Center in the Bronx.
When asked about her experience in New York, she recalls the following.
”I have never seen so much sickness and death in one place in my life. People were truly struggling to breathe up until their last breath. No family was able to be at their bedside to hold their hand or pray for them, no clergy, one clergy had COVID himself and the other was ONLY performing last rights, they were just ALONE. It was a truly sad experience but a humbling one to say the least. I know we have had death in our county and my prayers go out to those families but WE as a county are TRULY BLESSED. I left a ‘war zone’ of sadness, death and despair and I came home to a whole different world. In one flight you go from getting looked at like you are crazy if you don’t have a mask, to entering the airport in Charlotte and getting “looks” for walking around WITH a mask on.
This virus is real and it is deadly. Yes, many if not most, can and will survive, but that 14 day window is the issue. You can have the virus and display NO symptoms AT ALL during this period. Which means for two weeks you could potentially come in contact with the young, the old, the immunocompromised, those with several co-morbidities, walk in and out of hospitals, nursing homes, hugging, shaking hands, a sneeze, a cough, etc., exposing these persons to the virus. Many people can be exposed during a two-week period. So you yourself may SURVIVE the virus but someone may lose the battle. And it’s NOT an easy fight from my experience.
This experience, if nothing else, had taught me to RESPECT THE VIRUS.
My decision to come home early was out of fear, not for myself, but for my family and members in the community. So follow the guidelines with social distancing, wear a mask, etc. it’s not much to ask but it could save lives.”
Grooms quarantined for two weeks at home mandated by her employer and will return to work alongside her many co-workers at the Southeastern Health Mall clinic where testing for suspected COVID patients is being completed.
She asks the all the front line health employees everywhere but especially in New York City be kept in your thoughts and prayers.