Houston nurse returns from NYC, as Houston sees more cases

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Medical workers from New York state are now here in Houston help with COVID-19 testing. New York City was once the epicenter of the virus at that time nurses from Houston went there to help. Now the Big Apple is returning the favor.

ICU nurse Ivette Palomeque doesn't just share a birthday with her twin sister, she shares a profession. Her sister, who is living in Miami, sent Ivette a text one day.

"She said, 'Hey, New York needs nurses really bad. I know you can free up your time'. She said, 'I'm thinking about going. Let's go'," said Ivette Palomeque , RN, ICU nurse with Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center.

Soon after that, they were off to New York. They arrived in late March.

"It was ongoing. It was insane, like I've never seen that before and I've been an ICU nurse for nine years," said Palomeque.

Some days were tough, exhausting, but having her twin made all the difference.

"It certainly helps the morale, with somebody along the way," she said.

After three months, she returned to Houston, just as Texas was seeing a spike in cases here.

"Mentally, when I got here I was still in it and so to jump right back in it, it's like I never even left. This has been my life for now four months plus," said Palomeque.

Now she's seeing her fellow health care workers go from New York to Houston to help, working at testing sites.

"Besides making lasting friendships, we also foraged a bond with that city and with that community that they'll never forget," she said.

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