“We’ve seen a whole lot of tragedy. We’ve seen a whole lot of cases,” said Dr. Toshita Kumar, Bristol Hospital pulmonary critical care physician.
Bristol Hospital staff recorded video of their intensive care unit exclusively for NBC Connecticut viewers. It's where they treat their sickest patients.
For safety sake, NBC Connecticut did not go inside.
While we aren’t showing patients for privacy reasons, the hospital hopes the frontline worker’s covered faces and pictures of ready-to-be-used ventilators remind people to not let up as cases continue to rise.
“At this point, the irony of it all is there is a lot of isolation fatigue, there’s a lot of knowledge fatigue. And I think that people are ignoring the basic safety instructions at times," said Kumar.
At one point this week, Bristol Hospital had the most COVID-19 patients they’ve housed at one time since the pandemic started: 27.
Since March, the hospital has admitted 216 COVID-19 patients and have lost 26 of them, according to hospital spokesperson Chris Boyle.
“There’s no gambling with this. It’s real and we’re losing too many lives,” said Bristol resident Charles Bensavage, one of Kumar’s patients.
He was one of those patients who almost passed away.
“So Charles was one of our first few patients that went on, had to go on a ventilator. And at a certain point in time, we almost thought we lost him. But we were able to bring him back and the hard work again of the ICU,” said Kumar.
“It was one of the most rewarding things to see him as an outpatient come to the office," she continued.
Friday, he and one of his many Bristol hospital doctors are urging community members to do what you can to contain the spread of the virus, from masks to social isolation.
“We’re not Republicans and we’re not Democrats. We’re all Americans and we all got to protect each other,” said Bensavage.
So hospital employees can continue providing their best care and not be overwhelmed by patients and for the safety of their own families too.
“So even though I understand everyone is tired of this pandemic, we are completely exhausted, so please help us,” said Kumar.
Bensavage said no one wants themselves or their loved ones to experience what he did.
“Those that aren’t wearing the makes, you’ve got to understand that it’s not a joke. This is real,” he said.