In a heartbreaking video making its rounds on social media, an ICU nurse working on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic lost her composure and broke down in tears while recalling what it’s been like to see so many of her patients die under her care.
At the end of March, D’neil Schmall moved to New York specifically to help fight the deadly illness. She has been working on a rapid response team operating out of a temporary Central Park hospital dedicated to treating COVID-19 patients.
But in the emotional video, the 35-year-old medical worker opened up about the devastation she’s had to bear witness to over the last few weeks. At some points, she sobbed uncontrollably as she confessed to being “tired” of finding her patients dead.
“I just feel there is so much anyone can take,” she recalled while wiping away her tears. “I’m tired of walking into rooms, and your patients are dead. You just walk into a room, and there’s a dead body there. I’m tired of calling families and telling them that news.”
Today was by far the worst shape I’ve ever had. This video was taken after laying in my hotel floor for an hour crying. I think it’s important for ppl to see what we go threw when we get home. *******Update ******After 4-5hrs sleep We’re walking 8-11 miles in a 13-15hrs shift. 5–6 days a week. The Majority of our PPE is made out of plastic like wearing a sweat suit all day. Assignments of 10-16 patients per nurse. ******This video is completely unedited. And taken after the “worst shift” I’ve had since being here. I was only Venting. This video was cathartic. I only posted it because I feel like people should know what we’re going through here. I love my job I LOVE ❤️ what I do! UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES AM I LEAVING! But that doesn’t mean frontliners aren’t human and wont be emotional about this experience as well*********I turned the camera on and just started talking whatever came to mind. Im not blaming this on the 🏥 or anyone. The volume of patients is that high. All im asking is for some understanding that I personally take pride in doing a good job. A part of my selfworth is invested in taking care of others. Id rather run myself into the ground trying to do so, then sacrifice patients care. #frontline #nurselife #flattenthecurve #nurse #er #covid_19 #msnbc #todayshow #newyorknews #newyork #goodmorningamerica #frontlinersneedhelptoo* Video Copyright belongs to D’neil Schmall
Posted by D’neil Schmall on Tuesday, April 7, 2020
Schmall who said at the onset of the clip that she had just worked her “worst day” yet, also expressed grief over fellow nurses who had lost their lives while taking care of others battling COVID-19.
“I cried the whole way home, I mean the driver was like, ‘Ma’am are you okay?” shared the former bodybuilder as she plead with viewers to show more compassion during this pandemic. “I don’t think people understand how stressful this job is. I was trained for anything in the world but this is so stressful.”
“Everyone is trying hard, everyone is trying so hard. But we got so much to do. We are humans too,” she reminded them.
She also admitted that she doesn’t feel right venting to mother or her sister, because she doesn’t want to heighten their concern for her safety, adding: “[My mom] never wanted me to come [to New York].”
“I have friends that are nurses and I’m pretty sure that they understand but they are going through the same thing,” she said. “So the end result is you end up crying in your hotel room. Or in the bathroom. There is no one to talk to.”