Nurse Practitioner opens up about life at Windermere and cooks meals for co-workers

CSRA News

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – Life at a nursing home in Augusta has changed dramatically since this pandemic. Not just for residents, but also for the staff.

Windermere Health and Rehabilitation has seen a recent spike in positive cases. So, a staff member decided to go above and beyond the call of duty.

It’s simple meals like breakfast, lunch, and dinner that has turned these employees days around.

They are so restricted for safety that they cannot leave the building, which is where the community stepped in… Showing staff how a little bit can go a long way.

Family Nurse Practitioner, Melissa Cave, tells NewsChannel 6 what life has been like.

“I’ve lost a few of my patients, and to know that I can give the staff, and to know they are just as upset as I am, about some of these patients that we’ve lost… Sorry…” She says through tears.

Overwhelming and emotional are words to describe COVID-19’s impact. Cave decided to start cooking for her work family to help take the edge off.

“They’re just so excited. I mean it’s such a small gesture to bring them food and if you could see how happy they are,” says Cave.

Over 70 positive cases of the coronavirus created a major set back at Windermere Health and Rehabilitation Center. Employees are sick, others are covering double shifts, and going out for even fresh air is not allowed.

“Once you’re scrubbed in with all the garb that you have to wear, you know, PPE right now is priceless. So, they’re stuck in the building for a full shift. They can’t come and go kind of how they were used to doing because we have to preserve that PPE,” says Cave.

Long shifts calls for empty stomachs, and Cave reached out to her friends to help cook breakfast, lunch, and dinner, to be delivered to staff.

“I mean Facebook is amazing at times, and I just asked my friends to step up. I mean, a huge response from friends and local businesses here in Augusta,” says Cave.

Unable to get the residents food from restrictions, she even found a way for the community to deliver cards, words of encouragement, and even make signs to express their love.

“You know, we’re sitting in a nursing home that now has IV fluids running, levels have bumped up drastically, and they’ve really stepped up, so if a meal can make them that happy, you know it makes me happy,” says Cave.

This has been going on for a few weeks, if you would like to participate, CLICK HERE for more information, or call Windermere Health and Rehabilitation Center’s main line at (706) 860-7572.

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