Deer Park nurse helped battle COVID-19 in NY

NEW YORK CITY, New York (KTRK) -- A Deer Park nurse and mother of three said it was a call from God that motivated her to leave Texas to help fight the coronavirus on the front lines in New York.

Debra Tibbetts, a registered nurse, has been working in the Big Apple for the last 20 days, and said she's seen patients in the ER and the ICU.

"I'm a spiritual person and God really laid it on my heart that I have the right background and I have the right skill set, and that I really needed to come help so, the call went out and I answered it," said Tibbetts.

She traveled to New York on April 5 and has been working nonstop ever since.

She told ABC13's Tom Abrahams on Sunday her days begin at 5:45 a.m., where she is then sent to her designated facility for the day. In total, she has worked in up to 17 different facilities in the greater New York City area.

"We are completely full," said Tibbetts.

Tibbetts said she's worked closely with those recovering from COVID-19 who require long-term care and rehab.

But she said the most difficult part of the job has been with those who weren't able to recover.

"There's no visitors, and so a lot of people, if we know they're going to pass, I mean, we're the last face they see and the last hand they hold, so it's been an extremely hard and emotional time for that," said Tibbetts.

Tibbetts is scheduled to return home to Texas on Monday, and when asked if she would do it all again, she said there's no doubt.

"I definitely would," she said "I went to nursing school at Baylor University, and our theme is to learn to lead and to serve and I take that to heart."
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