Cape Girardeau respiratory therapist back home after helping NYC COVID-19 victims

Local healthcare worker returns from NYC

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) - A Cape Girardeau respiratory therapist is now back home after helping positive COVID-19 patients in the worst hit part of the country; New York City.

Amber Morgan came home on Sunday and is now facing another hurdle of not being able to interact with her children while being quarantined in her bedroom away from her loved ones.

"So my husband and I are in separate rooms," Amber Morgan said. "All night long we were in separate beds and separate bathrooms. It's kind of irritating to hear people being upset that they're stuck with their families but all I want right now is a hug. I can't get a hug and we can't get close to one another because he is at a higher risk."

In New York City, she was surrounded by an unfavorable environment with many COVID-19 patients she worked on.

While she was working on this past Saturday, there was a certain situation with a patient that she felt was unsafe and felt she was not protected.

“We have face shields and we have masks, but we’re still able to contract the virus because of the particles in the air, if we airilize any particles,” Amber Morgan said.

That's when she called her husband and he was able to get the first flight back home for her that he could.

"I picked her up and she rode in the third row of the car and we both wore masks on the ride home," Nate Morgan said.

Amber Morgan said she is proud of her husband and said he played a vital part in helping her and keeping things going while she was away; and is still playing a vital part while she is in quarantine.

“He’s been through just as much as I have these last two weeks because he’s dealing with all of the logistics; like the flight tickets, the food, and everybody that I can’t deal with, that’s on him,” Amber Morgan said. “Without him, I would have been lost.”

"There were days that were hard. I'll be honest with you there," Nate Morgan said. "There were times where you're just nervous for your spouse. There's no other way to be about it. They're in the middle of something that where obviously the risk of exposure is there but also she's in a major city during a pandemic."

Amber said before she left, she almost didn’t want to get on that flight out, knowing she was leaving so many people behind, friends she made and patients she helped with in the fight for their lives.

"The hardest thing was to leave the people that I was helping, seeing that they're in hell and I get to leave," Amber Morgan said. "That's the hardest thing to cope with."

It was the intense labor and the uncertain conditions that made it especially hard on her and she said she couldn’t have done it without all the care packages she received and all the support while she was up there.

"When I was there, there were so many people donating to the hotel, so many care packages and cards," Amber Morgan said. "Without that, I would have quit the second day."

"The prayers, the care packages, the Facebook messages; she wasn't in this fight alone," Nate Morgan said.

"It's hard to express my thankfulness because...I'm sorry...it's hard," Amber then collects herself. "I have so much in my head to process that I don't even, I don't want anyone to go, like I don't want anyone to think that they weren't a help in all of this. Everybody that even sent me a thank you or we're caring for you or we're praying for you, it meant so, so much to me."

Because of the mass amount of patients she treated, she now is being tested for the virus herself and is awaiting her results.

Until she gets her results back, she is quarantined and away from her loved ones inside her home.

“If I am positive, I will have to go another two weeks isolated from him and I won’t get to see my kids other than FaceTime,” Amber said. “If I’m negative, tomorrow I will go pick them up as soon as I can. As soon as I hear that news. So my prayers are that I am negative.”

Nate Morgan said he is super proud of her. He just hopes people take the stay-at-home orders seriously to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“I think people should go about their lives assuming they have it and they’re spreading it to other people,” Nate Morgan said. “Wear a mask, wash your hands, don’t touch your face until the spread and numbers start to go down, I think everyone should go about their business assuming they are a carrier.”

Copyright 2020 KFVS. All rights reserved.