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Local COVID survivor : "Somebody needs to know"

A Utica COVID survivor says people need to know just what hospital staff members are going through right now during what is now the height of the pandemic.

Posted: Jan 12, 2021 6:52 PM

Utica, N.Y. - There was a big wave of support last spring and summer for the nurses, doctors and other hospital staff members who put themselves in danger everyday to care for others during COVID. Now, thanks to a local COVID survivor, there may once again be a push for people to show their appreciation now as we go through this second wave.

Barbara Lambright, who lives in East Utica, is now back home. Her Christmas tree still up, her presents still underneath.

Lambright's Christmas was put on hold on December 23rd, when she tested positive for COVID.

She went into St. Elizabeth Medical Center that day, admitted for the night and was released the next day, told to quarantine at home and as a result couldn't see her family for the holidays.

Barbara says her breathing got so bad that on January 4th she called her primary care doctor who said get to the ER immediately.

Barbara was admitted that day and says at one point during her hospital stay her breathing got even worse, so bad that she didn't think she'd ever make it back home.

She did. She was released on Sunday, January 10th to continue her recovery at home.

The next morning she called to see if I was interested in doing a story. She wanted to know if we could get her message across. A message of thank you to the doctors and nurses who cared for her, gave her hope, and got her well enough to go home, she says someone needs to know what these men and women are going through right now, "I wanna say thank you from the bottom of my heart, I can breathe, you were everything to me. I don’t wanna cry. If you think that this isn’t real, oh my God, please God, I hope no one ever gets this."

MVHS Registered Nurse Deb Graziano says hearing that kind of appreciation is very much appreciated, "Stress level is high for COVID nursing but we appreciate it. There's been a lot of outpouring of community support, different restaurants have sent us food. We had a 4th grade class today, I'm not sure what school, sent us a box of snacks and drinks and that always boosts morale."

Graziano admits it is a struggle for the staff as capacity gets fuller and fuller.

She says she wasn't surprised to hear that Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles, just today, reached capacity and had to turn trauma patients away, "It's believable now, I didn't believe it last spring, I believe it now. We still have space so we just do the best you can with what you have."

When asked how close to capacity MVHS is, MVHS Spokesperson Caitlin McCann said, "We are working to expand capacity again, so I can't give exact numbers, but we are close to being full."

Barbara Lambright says her heart goes out to the men and women on the front lines who continue to battle this fight as the COVID numbers seem to just keep getting worse, "It’s not even like there's an end to it for them right now and that’s what's so sad. I mean yeah, the vaccine will get out, we'll get it, we'll do what we’re supposed to do, but you've got to remember these people, they’re just every day people that you would see in the grocery store and someone may say, oh well she’s a nurse, she’s a nurse, no, she’s an angel from heaven."

New York Coronavirus Cases

County data is updated nightly.

Cases: 2075539

Reported Deaths: 52770
CountyCasesDeaths
Kings27622810275
Queens2732379808
Suffolk1989063374
Nassau1818043159
Bronx1806976514
New York1363994432
Westchester1285842264
Erie878771773
Richmond737331800
Monroe659361063
Orange47706810
Rockland46564955
Onondaga37769670
Dutchess29064442
Albany24349350
Oneida22143505
Niagara19556356
Broome18258356
Saratoga15014166
Ulster13705251
Schenectady12924197
Rensselaer11049140
Putnam1052191
Chautauqua8749140
Chemung7486135
Oswego738190
Ontario726792
Steuben6710143
Sullivan651772
St. Lawrence645396
Cayuga615592
Jefferson584766
Wayne560267
Cattaraugus552687
Genesee5319123
Herkimer5077107
Clinton476933
Madison444088
Fulton431191
Livingston430758
Tompkins421451
Montgomery4178122
Columbia3974101
Cortland371060
Tioga365161
Warren356357
Wyoming347052
Allegany338684
Chenango337676
Otsego337647
Greene333475
Washington305555
Orleans303183
Lewis265534
Franklin251012
Delaware230137
Seneca197156
Schoharie164816
Essex157026
Yates116426
Schuyler102614
Hamilton3052
Unassigned13258
Out of NY0234
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