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A tribute to our local heroes: health care workers

A tribute to our local heroes: health care workers

By Nancy Price

On March 6, the Indiana State Department of Health announced its first case of coronavirus in Indianapolis. The number of cases spread rapidly and by March 23 our state was on lockdown. Those on the front lines are trained to help patients hurt during natural disasters or accidents, however, no one was prepared for a pandemic.

“During our regular yearly online learning we keep up with different disasters, major car wrecks and tornadoes but there are no drills to run for the pandemic,” said Emily Cornpropst, a nurse who works at Franciscan Health. “It’s been very interesting to be a part of, for sure.”

This week, we salute Cornpropst, a Center Grove resident, in addition to all health care employees working diligently and tirelessly to treat those infected with COVID-19. Their efforts are appreciated and admired immeasurably. They are our heroes.

Jennifer Hussung of Greenwood gives praise to the staff of Eskenazi Health for helping to save her husband, Bryan’s life, as well as frequent updates on his condition while he was intubated and in grave condition at the hospital after developing COVID-19.

“One doctor that oversaw Bryan’s care, she would call me every day around 12:30 p.m.,” Jennifer recalled. “It didn’t matter if it was good news, bad or no change, she was going to call me. She might talk to me about my emotions and the girls’ emotions. Her role in this pandemic was just as important as the care Bryan received.”

Heroes on the frontlines: Health care workers at Ascension St. Vincent Hospital – Indy South. (Submitted photo)

Cornpropst follows strict health care guidelines when working with all patients to help protect them, as well as herself, from the coronavirus. She follows the same protocol in public, which is why she was shocked to learn she had been infected with COVID-19. “I felt I was protected all along,” she said. “I think it caught everyone off-guard.”

While Cornpropst was sick at home, she learned that New York was conducting a trial for donating COVID-19 convalescent plasma. Survivors of the coronavirus build antibodies in their body to fight the virus; their plasma could be used to treat critically ill patients with COVID-19.

Cornpropst was able to donate plasma after meeting the requirements of being symptom-free for 14 days after recovering from the virus. “I feel very fortunate, very blessed to have been able to have the virus and survived without too many complications, without getting critically ill and be able to give back to those who did become critically ill,” she said. “It’s very rewarding.”

Cornpropst said it’s important to focus on the positive side during these times, including families becoming closer and protecting ourselves and others, especially our high-risk population. “It’s the health care providers’ responsibilities to be an example and educate when we have the opportunity,” she said.

Wise words from a local hero. Thank you to all health care workers for your hard work, educating the community and making a positive difference every day.

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