By LARRY VAUGHT
Nurse practitioner Mira Daugherty of Lincoln County is back home after spending nearly two months in New York helping do what she could to hold COVID-19 patients and medical workers.
She had worked as intensive care unit nurse at Ephraim McDowell Regional Medical Center before moving to the Ephraim clinic in Liberty after she became a nurse practitioner. She opted to take a new job in Somerset with Catalyst — a business that does primary care, assists those that need vivitrol and is starting an anti-aging clinic. However, COVID-19 delayed that job start until July 15.
Daugherty got a chance to go to New York to help for a brief period and quickly accepted before finally returning home this week.
“I’m glad I went. I feel as if I served a purpose,” she said. “I was thanked by physicians and nurses almost every single shift that I worked. I was able to hold the hand of a man when he died so that he didn’t die alone. Nobody should die alone without their loved ones at their side.
“I met some amazing people and worked with some of the finest nurses. It is an experience I will hold in the highest regards.”
She quickly said “making a difference” was the most rewarding part of her job.
“Holding my patient’s hand when he passed. Not easy, but that’s why I went,” she said. “I remember telling my husband before I left, if one nurse thanked me for being there and if I got to hold the hand of one patient when she\he died, that will have made my time worth it,” Daugherty said.
She will remember how “amazing and resilient” the people in New York were in this time of crisis.
“I will always remember how appreciative and thankful the people were,” she said. “I will always carry a little sadness because of the circumstances but I will never regret my time there.”
She also feels fortunate that she left before the political/racial unrest led to riots in New York City.
“I happened to leave May 31st after shift, so it was about 8:30-9 a.m. I did not witness any of it. I was worried about it because I had plans to stay in the state capital of Pennsylvania and had heard the previous night there was some protesting with minimal events,” Daugherty said.
“So I called the hotel prior to my arrival to ensure that there was nothing else going on. I feel pretty lucky. If it wasn’t for a few conversations with people I would’ve known anything about the rioting. I had no TV in the apartment, so I had no access to the news.”