Houston neighbors throw rally for nurse as she leaves for work

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A neighborhood in northwest Houston is rallying around a nurse to show how much they care about her.

Sherry Chavez is an RN at the Houston Methodist ER Care Center along the Southwest Freeway and Kirby.

Those in the health care field are among the essential workers on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic.

About 30 of Chavez's neighbors in the Garden Oaks neighborhood got up early Friday morning to recognize her efforts.

As Chavez left for work around 6 a.m., her neighbors were right there with her, showering her with signs, pompoms, cowbells and cheers. They also made sure to stand at least 10 feet apart and wore masks.

Shellye Arnold organized the early-morning parade, explaining how everyone is not only neighbors but friends and that health care workers deserve our support.

"Sherry and others working on the front lines deserve thanks and credit for their sacrifice," Arnold said. "She's taking care of people who are the sickest, at risk, on the front lines. Someone made a sign that said 'GROUND ZERO HERO.'"

Chavez said the kindness of her neighbors doesn't surprise her.

"We have a lot of people who walk in the neighborhood, so I just thought everybody was out walking, but then they started cheering, and I thought, 'Oh my gosh, they did this for me!'" Chavez said.

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Like so many in health care and other essential fields, Chavez has seen a lot when it comes to COVID-19 patients.

She explained the care center has seen positive results from all ages in the last 2 1/2 weeks. Most people come in with dry cough, shortness of breath, and other symptoms, some that have nothing to do with respiratory, she said.

Chavez added that some patients may have traveled or had a family member who traveled. But some are also now coming in with symptoms, and they don't know who their contact was.

Still, Chavez says the community response has been great with donations for personal protective equipment.

"It's difficult to use the PPE's constantly, but we've gotten used to it," she said, adding that personnel has had what they needed since day one.

If you find yourself needing care, Chavez says don't be afraid.

"We see a lot of people come in and they're very scared, but we're there for you! We can help you!" she said.

And Chavez's neighbors proved they would be there for her, too.

"It's very endearing, heartwarming," she said.

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