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."
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.