Utah healthcare workers return from New York

Posted at 7:13 PM, May 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-07 21:22:27-04

A group of Utah medical workers are back after spending two weeks treating COVID-19 patients in New York. And they have an important message to share with Utahns – take this pandemic seriously.

McKay Dee Hospital Nurse Whitney Hilton said the gravity of the situation is severe. “Going out there you hear it’s bad, but then walked in the hospital and saw these critically ill patients, all sicker patients than I’ve ever seen in my life, all just lined up next to each other.”

She saw patients dying alone, with family unable to visit. Hilton says it was the most shocking and humbling experience during her seven years of nursing.

Others say there is just no way to prepare for the death, and they are worried this could happen in Utah.

“I`d come home at night and all I could really say to my family, my friends, if you could see what I see, you would do anything humanly possible to prevent it,” said Hilton.

That was echoed by many skilled physicians, nurses and respiratory therapists who deployed through Intermountain Healthcare.

“I saw it in a community that is not too different from here. The disease can spread like wildfire, so let’s respect it,” said doctor Dixie Harris.

Intermountain’s team of caregivers say they are thankful for the opportunity to serve in New York, but that they’ll never forget it.