KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A Kansas City nurse is risking her own life to help other health care workers in New York City on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic.
New York City has had more than 1,200 people die from COVID-19 as of Monday, and more than 33,000 people have been diagnosed with the virus.
Hospitals there are overrun with patients. A make-shift hospital was set-up in Central Park to try and help.
The Governor of New York sent emails and made public appeals asking for healthcare workers in other states to come and help.
Kansas City nurse, Kristey Veasman, worked a few years ago in New York City as a traveling nurse. Her medical license there is still active and she decided to say yes.
This weekend, Nurse Veasmen will begin a leave of absence from her Kansas City-area hospital and travel to New York City for a one-month tour of duty treating COVID-19 patients.
"I had a friend donate this to me and it's another layer of protection," said while showcasing a face shield.
And she will need that protection when she begins working in her New York City hospital.
"My biggest concern is not having the protection that we need. I have talked to a few nurses that are in the city and they have told me that they are wearing trash bags. They get one mask for the whole week and it may not be the N-95 that they need," Veasman explained.
She has a heart of compassion for the COVID-19 patients.
"I'm sure being a COVID patient would be scary in itself, and the fact that no one really wants to come near you, I think that would be really, really hard when you're really, sick," Veasman said.
Despite the danger, she is determined to go.
"I talked to my mom on the phone. She was trying to talk me out of it. I said, "Mom, I've decided. I'm going to do it. They need help. Someone's got to do it. If we don't go help, who, what will become of people in New York?'" Veasman explained.
As Veasman prepares to put her life in danger to save others in New York City, her friends and family in Kansas City are coming to her rescue.
Varsity Construction in Kansas City, gave her some N-95 face-masks. Gilbert and Katie Moore donated 20 N-95 masks and gloves that were leftover from their plumbing and HVAC business.
"You know, it takes a lot of guts. She's definitely brave. There's no question about it," Moore said.
Brave, and grateful.
"I'm going to keep that mask on all shift. I don't know how I'm going to eat or drink or do anything, go to the bathroom; but I'm going to keep that mask on," Veasman insisted.
She plans to donate the extra protective gear she's taking to other nurses in New York City who don't have any.