HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. — As the number of infected and dying rises across the globe, just one survivor can pull the staff off an entire hospital out of despair.
Behind each statistic is the face of someone who is loved, a human being with family and friends pulling for them.
In the age of coronavirus, the sick often suffer alone. Most hospitals aren't allowing visitors. That leaves the staff to not only care for a patient medically, but emotionally as well.
In so many ways, doctors and nurses are their only cheerleaders pushing them to survive.
"Encourage these patients," said Dr. Monica Bueso, at AdventHealth Wesley Chapel.
"These patients are scared, devastated, they are not seeing their family. They are alone in that room quarantined. You walk in that room, and you are dressed up like an astronaut, you know, and they are scared," Bueso said. "It's very important to encourage them, and we do that with all of our patients. You are our hero, you are a great fighter, keep up the good spirits, you know hang in there you are doing great we are all so proud of you."
Bueso is a pulmonary and critical care doctor. On Wednesday, she watched as a patient she cared for wheeled out of the hospital. The halls lined with all of the medical professionals that helped save her life.
Staff clapping, and cheering for life gained, not lost by COVID-19.
"It was very emotional, and I think the whole hospital needed the uplifting of their morale because when one of them dies, it tears you apart," Bueso said. "Because you put everything into it, the patients put everything to it, and when they die, it's very devastating, so if you can save one, it kind of lifts your morale and makes you feel like OK, we can do this. We can fight this virus. So, it was a great day."
Bueso knows the risk she is taking home to her three children. But, every night, she takes off all of her possibly infected clothes and gets clean before kissing her children goodnight.
Bueso says all of the sacrifices are worth it to save a life.