Fighting COVID-19 from the frontlines: Megan Abbott, Children's Mercy Hospital

Megan Abbott.jpg
Posted at 2:15 PM, Sep 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-29 19:39:14-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — As a child life specialist at Children's Mercy Hospital, part of Megan Abbott's job is walking children through the process of getting a COVID-19 test before they undergo any procedure. And it’s a procedure she knows all too well.

“I’ve had it twice," Abbott said. "It’s not the easiest thing to describe.”

Abbott has shown symptoms and subsequently been tested twice for COVID-19. Every day, she works with the smallest, most unsuspecting people at risk for the virus.

Megan Abbott Diary One

“I’m like, oooh, it’s starting to affect the kids," she said. "At the beginning, scientists were saying it’s not going to affect kids as much. Well, then we started seeing it affect them. It becomes a little alarming.”

Abbott and many other hospital workers gave 41 Action News an inside look for three weeks, describing their jobs and their mindset while battling all sorts of ailments, including coronavirus.

Megan Abbott Diary Two

ANCHOR KEVIN HOLMES: Since Mid-March, what’s been your biggest surprise?

MEGAN ABBOTT: “I laugh and think back in March, we were all worried about Memorial Day Weekend. Like, is this going to be over by Memorial Day Weekend?”

With no end in sight, the laughter has shifted to a little bit of concern. And a whole lot of uncertainty.

Megan Abbott Diary Three

KH: What’s the hardest part?

MA: “It’s overwhelming. It can be overwhelming for me. I feel like I have coped best by living my life week by week. Because the big picture is stressful. My kids are supposed to go to school. I don’t know if they’re going to kindergarten or second grade; if it’s virtual or in person. It changes so frequently, so the big picture is overwhelming. So, I’ve decided to live my life week by week and it’s helping.”

It sometimes feels like Groundhog Day. Every day, Abbott is decked out in personal protective equipment as a safeguard for both her family and herself.

“I was nervous going home and my kids getting it, my husband getting it," Abbott said. "Then I heard that dogs were getting git. I was like, am I spreading this to my whole family?”

Megan Abbott Diary Four

Though working in the medical field, Abbott has questions about the virus just as much as others.

“It’s turned our world upside down," she said. "I don’t even have words. It’s impacted every aspect of my life. My work life, home life, any plans that were made.”

Megan Abbott Diary Five

As the pandemic continues, Abbott said it’s important to remember everyone is in this together.

“Society can work hard to protect each other," she said. "We have to look at it as we’re protecting each other, not just ourselves. It’s a group effort.”