Lakeland nurse shares story from frontline of New York's coronavirus pandemic

As a Registered Nurse, Lakeland resident Cody Lawrence wanted to go where he was desperately needed.

So when an agency that places health care professionals around the country called with an offer, he jumped at the chance to go to the front lines in the war against COVID-19.

In a few days, rushed arrangements were made, and he was on his way to Nassau University Medical Center, about 30 miles east of New York City.

“It’s chaotic here,” Lawrence told FOX 13 during a virtual interview after a grueling overnight shift. “A lot of COVID-19 patients, a lot of codes, just really sick respiratory people."

Lawrence said within the first few days of being there, he had treated more than two dozen people with the Coronavirus.

Like many nurses who have left home to work in COVID-19 hotspots around the country, Lawrence said he thinks he made the right decision, despite the risk to his own health.

“With nursing, you’re always putting yourself at risk,” Lawrence explained. “So it’s not much different as long as you are safe. You wear your PPE, then you should be safe.”

However, according to a recent article in The New York Times, 9,200 health care workers have contracted the virus.

Nurses that go into dangerous situations like Lawrence are usually paid hazard pay. He is making $85 dollars an hour.

“You take care of yourself, as well as others,” he said.

His contract runs two months and Lawrence says he will stay longer if he is needed.

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