AUGUSTA, Ga (WJBF) – A lot of states are preparing to re-open after being under shelter-in-place orders due to the pandemic.
But, New York is still felling the effects of COVID-19.
Many healthcare professionals from around the country have joined the effort to help in New York.
One woman from Augusta is among them.
She’s been providing assists in more than one way all of her life.
As a girl growing up in Augusta, Mabel Sanders had high hopes and big dreams that started as a basketball player for the T. W. Josey high school Eagles.
Eventually she would move from helping win games to helping save lives as a nurse.
“I love nursing because I just love people. It’s always been a joy to put a smile on someone’s face to assist someone. To help someone in some type of way. It’s rewarding to me to see the positive results,” she explains.
As the world watched New York City fight the hardest battle against COVID-19 this nurse
contemplated joining the front line in helping win the war.
“I said there’s no way I could go anyway because my son is in school. Who is going to get him to school everyday? There’s no way he can miss those types of days in school. The day before another deployment call, I get an email and voice mail from the county that the Governor was suspending the rest of the academic school year.”
For this nurse, that one call provided the answer that would put her on a new team taking on the tough opponent.
She reflects, “If I’ve learned anything over my years is that sometimes my plan is not God’s plan. All the things I saw as hindrances, God started realigning things for me.”
During Mabel’s three week assignment she has experienced the pain inflicted by this virus..
“It has been exhausting. It has been a range of emotions from sadness to pretty much just dealing with all of this because it’s constant working. It’s not many days off. I’m taking one day off. So, it’s pretty much working 21 days straight.”
But she says there has also been progress as witnessed through one of her patients.
“His condition was really bad. So much so, he was barely moving. But, somewhere around the fourth day, of me taking care of him somewhere in the middle of my shift, it was like he just came back to life. We started taking out his lines. He started trying to get out of bed,” she smiles.
In the city experiencing so much hurt, she has seen hope.
“He had turned around. It was like an about face and he was coming through this. When I called my other colleagues to help me with him, they were amazed as well.”
Aside from helping to heal the body, Mabel is also an author helping people who have been hurt emotionally through her book titled “Surrendered Life.”
This nurse wears a lot of hats but her favorite is being the mother to an 11 year old son.
“He misses me of course. I don’t know if he understands the full gamut. He knows that I’m taking a risk. But, he tells me he loves me all of the time. That’s my strength to get through.”
For this former athlete, the experience has helped her learn new perspectives in medicine and the game of life.
“It’s just changed me in making me more cognizant of the things that we take for granted. Just like breathing,” she concludes.
“Buffy,” as she is known in Augusta, is still in New York helping patients.
WJBF NewsChannel 6 honors all healthcare workers on the front lines of this pandemic.