‘People are dying’: Colorado nurse shares experience fighting COVID-19 on East Coast

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PATERSON, N.J. (KDVR) — Just 10 days into her stint as a nurse on the East Coast, Amy Espinosa has seen enough pain to last a lifetime. 

The Colorado nurse is now stationed at St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center in Paterson, New Jersey; one of the hardest hit communities in the nation. 

“You hear about it on the news, you see the videos of New York, maybe New Jersey, and that is real,” she says. “People are dying so much.”

Espinosa joined dozens of Centura Health nurses on April 21, saying goodbye to their loved ones and heading to the front lines. 

She’s been recording daily video blogs after each shift, which have garnered hundreds of views online. 

“I started them to let my friends and family truly understand what is happening here,” she said. 

Espinosa says she never questioned the decision to leave her family of four for a month, and head into the heart of the pandemic. 

“It’s OK to sacrifice once in awhile, and I feel like that’s what I’m doing, is sacrificing for the greater good.”

In her videos, she talks about how draining it is — both emotionally and physically — to care for COVID-19 patients on ventilators. 

“We continue to save some lives, and lose some lives, with this horrible beast,” she says in one video. 

Espinosa will remain in New Jersey through mid-May.

She hopes the videos serve as a reminder of how deadly COVID-19 can be.

“If you’re not in it, you don’t understand it, you don’t feel it,” she says. “I just want to tell people, don’t take this lightly.” 

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