Updated:
Original:

MN nurse describes harrowing coronavirus experience in NY hospital

Lisseth DeGracia volunteered to go the front lines of the pandemic.

A Minnesota nurse has gone viral with her moving account of life on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic. 

Lisseth DeGracia is one of thousands of health care professionals from across the country who answered New York's call for help last month, as the state's hospitals faced enormous strain from COVID-19.

DeGracia, a single mom who lives in the Twin Cities and works for Children's Minnesota, has been working at Elmhurst Hospital in Queens for weeks.

Her sacrifice made national headlines earlier this month, when Fox News interviewed her about her "eye-opening" experience seeing New York's coronavirus battle up close. 

Two weeks later, she's updating the world on what she's seeing and how she's doing, and a picture of DeGracia taking a breather — snapped by a concerned passerby — sums it all up:

"It’s pouring rain, but I needed fresh air after what I just experienced 2 hours into my shift," she wrote in the Friday Facebook post. "In ten years of nursing I have never been this shaken and stirred."

She describes the emotional toll of informing family members their loved ones are dying, writing, "I have heard the high pitched screams of family members over the phone knowing they will never see the person I am taking care of again."

"Have you ever held someone’s hand while they take their last breath, just so that they don’t die alone? I hope not," she added, "because I have."

Sign up for our BREAKING NEWS newsletters

However, she goes on to say that, despite the hardship of being separated from her family while confronting death on a daily basis, "I was meant to be here and experience this, God chose this path for me."

DeGracia closes her post by asking us to appreciate the people in our lives: "please, don’t miss an opportunity to make sure someone knows how much you love them."

As of Sunday morning, the post has been shared some 2,000 times, garnering over 800 comments. 

Next Up

mn zoo gladys the owl rectangle crop

Large owl named Gladys escapes from MN Zoo

The owl flew off to a tree during training, and has been on the loose since.

gustavus arboretum

Gustavus removes Swedish botanist's name from campus arboretum

The arboretum's name was a nod to Carl Linnaeus, the 18th-century Swedish botanist.

glow at state fairgrounds

Holiday lights festival returning to State Fairgrounds – but this time you walk

The drive-through display was launched last year as a pandemic-friendly event.

spending, personal finance, money

Money Gal Coaching: How to be smart about spending for personal growth

Kelly Blodgett used her passion behind becoming debt free to launch Money Gal Coaching.

Fleet Farm - Wikimedia Commons

Fleet Farm will move into former Twin Cities Target store

The old Target building has been vacant for years, having closed back in 2018.

rochester-water-tower

Minnesota water towers compete to be named America's 'Tank of the Year'

Two water towers in the state are currently in the top five vote-getters.

brian koland roseville

Roseville Schools elementary principal dies by suicide

The principal's family asked that the district share he took his own life.

unsplash - school girl students

List of St. Paul schools that could close, merge with others under new plan

The district is looking to address coming enrollment and funding issues.

covid

Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Tuesday, October 12

Hospitalizations are nearing 1,000 in Minnesota.

Related

Screen Shot 2020-11-27 at 6.26.50 PM

Minnesota nurse's story about her battle with COVID-19 goes viral

A month later, Ashley Walter is on a hard road to recovery.

Minnesota nurse Megan Chao Smith

MN nurse raising money, PPE, food and housing for frontline health workers

She had to leave the COVID-19 effort, so she's helping another way.

Dodge County Sheriff Scott Rose

'TIME TO VENT': Dodge County sheriff unloads in Facebook post

He's defending first responders during the coronavirus.

Nachito Herrera

Acclaimed Twin Cities piano virtuoso in hospital with coronavirus

The Dakota jazz club says Nachito Herrera is "very ill."

N95 respirator mask.

Amid 'drastic' shortages, MN nurse group asking for N95 mask donations

Got any unused ones? You can give them to the MN Nurses Association.

doctor, surgery, masks

Coronavirus: America's hospitals are running out of protective equipment

The CDC is even suggesting medical staff could use scarves to protect themselves as a last resort.