INDIANAPOLIS — The social media post of a registered nurse at Indy's Community North Hospital has been getting a lot of attention lately.
Jennifer Tinghitella, an ICU patient care coordinator, posted a photo of herself on Facebook and LinkedIn after a shift treating patients with COVID-19.
“This is exhaustion," the post read. "This is on the verge of tears. Covid casualties are getting younger and younger. If you’re one of delusional ones who think that you’re not old enough for Covid to claim your life, find a nurse, doctor, EVS worker, RT who works in the thick of it. Ask them about their perspective. We have story after story of people who, while gasping for breath, are asking for the vaccine. Do your part to end this horrific pandemic that is crippling our hospitals."
Tinghitella told 13News she’s lost count of the number of patient deaths she has seen from COVID in the past 18 months.
“COVID just destroys people. Like, it’s frightening,” Tinghitella said.
Her post on LinkedIn has garnered more than 8,000 reactions and over 1,000 comments.
“It just exploded,” said Tinghitella, something she said she never expected. She said she also didn't expect the negative reactions the post received, some accusing her of pushing an agenda.
“It’s why we haven’t been able to get over this COVID nightmare. There’s just so many people who think they know better than science,” said Tinghitella. “I don’t have an agenda. I just know what I’ve been seeing for 18 months and it’s changed all of us."
Tinghitella said the day she made the post, which included a picture that showed her with an exhausted look on her face, she had just spent two hours in a room, treating a patient with COVID.
“I honestly, at that moment, was like ‘How much longer can we all do this?’”
It’s a question that even two weeks later, Tinghitella said she and her colleagues can’t answer. What she does know is that she’s seeing more people, normally healthy people in their 30s and 40s, ending up on ventilators.
“They’re gasping for breath and they’re breathing like 50 or 60 times a minute,” she said.
Tinghitella can’t show you those pictures though because of patient privacy. What she can show you is the face of a registered nurse working in a hospital system whose resources she said are stretched thin.
“When I say resources, I mean people to take care of these patients,” Tinghitella explained.
People like Tinghitella, still in the trenches fighting a deadly virus. Her post, she said, is a reminder to people who doubt COVID can kill you, that it’s still here and not going away - a reality Tinghitella is confronted with every day.
“They don’t want to hear our reality,” she said of the people who have grown tired of hearing about COVID's dangers.
“We’re not the healthcare heroes anymore,” she said.
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