In less than one week, a Niantic nurse will be leaving her life in Connecticut to temporarily work in a New York hospital on the frontlines of the fight against COVID-19.
"The drive to go there way outweighs the fear," said Mary-Elizabeth Taylor.
According to online records, Taylor has been a registered nurse in Connecticut since January of 2011. She said that she has worked in local hospitals as a nurse and was most recently working in a long-term care facility.
Taylor said that she received an email about three weeks ago that detailed the need for healthcare workers in various COVID-19 hot-spots across the country. Taylor said she went online to learn more about where she could go to help. Days later, she was contacted by a traveling nurse company and offered a contract to work at New York-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital.
"Someone has got to help," said Taylor.
According to the New York City Health Department, there are more than 18,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Brooklyn alone. Taylor said that she is aware of the high numbers and the reality of what healthcare workers in New York City are facing.
“A lot of death, a lot of tears, a lot of people that are just tired and overworked, but if I don’t go in and help, how are they going to get relief?" said Taylor.
Taylor has received donations of masks, gloves, hand sanitizer and other products from members of the community.
"I have been very fortunate that people in my community have stepped up and given me donations of PPE (personal protective equipment) to bring down with me so I can stay safe," said Taylor.
Taylor is leaving behind her 12-year-old daughter, Leah, who will be staying with family. Leah asked her mom for a New York hat to show support.
“She is sacrificing in a good way. She is doing it to help people," said Leah.
Taylor's first day is next Monday and she will be staying at the Marriott Hotel at the Brooklyn Bridge at a discounted rate. Taylor is scheduled to be there for eight weeks, but might extend her time depending on need.
She said that she would like to work wherever there is an urgent need for healthcare workers because of COVID-19.