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Puppies, kittens bring smiles to nurses during appreciation week

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*(WTOC)
Updated: May. 7, 2021 at 5:20 PM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Nurses all over the country are being celebrated this week for how they selflessly served our communities through the COVID-19 pandemic.

If you came to Memorial Health on Friday, you might have been asking “Who let the dogs out?” Well, the truth is the hospital did to say thank you to their nurses this Nurse Appreciation Week.

“I am so happy right now. I hope, I mean, you can’t see that I am smiling, but I hope that you see it in my eyes that I am smiling. I am a 100% a dog person, a dog lover so I am loving this right now,” Cardiovascular ICU interim manager Latoya Gamble said.

With help from the Humane Society of Greater Savannah, Memorial unleashed their thanks for the nurses who have stepped up to serve. Some of them have been fighting COVID for 14 months.

“I find myself coming home, I’ve even found myself crying on the floor which is not like me at all. You get a lot closer to your patients because the families aren’t there and you have to be there emotionally for the patients’ families on the phone and you have to be there for the patient, so it’s been pretty rough,” Medical ICU nurse Jessica Martin said.

While the days were long and hard, these healthcare heroes say they could not have done it alone. It was a team effort.

“Without them and without the support we couldn’t get through this at all,” Heart and Vascular Tower/COVID floor manager Kamika Shivers said.

Nurses who serve COVID patients say they are much better of this nurses appreciation week than they were a year ago.

“I have to say it’s almost a relief seeing our numbers go down. Whenever you come into our 26 bed unit and we do not have 26 COVID patients we only have four it feels a lot better. You know just coming into work knowing that what we’re doing is making at least a little bit of a difference,” Medical ICU nurse Bethany Long said.

As nurses got a much deserved break Friday with the cats and dogs, they know their job is far from over and ask you to help them and stay vigilant against COVID-19.

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