COVID-19 has affected all of us in unprecedented ways, but the global medical community has continued to stand at the frontlines, fighting so strangers could see their loved ones again – and holding the hands of those who wouldn’t.
As our way of saying thank you, Smith employees from our Houston office recently nominated local healthcare heroes to be recognized for their selfless contributions to our community. We planned lunch on Smith for our honorees and their colleagues as part of an ongoing program.
We read the compelling and heartfelt reasons for each nomination and were humbled to learn of the sacrifices each of these healthcare workers makes every time they walk through the hospital doors. In September, we chose to recognize the spouses of two Smith employees: Aileen Mercado, an ICU nurse at Memorial Herman Cypress Hospital, and Chelsea Mayor, a registered nurse at Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital.
Mercado explained that, as a healthcare provider, going to work during the COVID-19 pandemic is like “being sent to a battlefield without knowing what you are going to deal with.”
“The discomfort from the gear I have to put on and wear the entire day heightens the anxiety I feel for myself and my loved ones,” Mercado said. “Nevertheless, I try to come to work with a mask of braveness and courage and try to uplift our patients as we care for them.”
Mercado credits her family, her church, and God for giving her strength.
“We have to stand strong to fight the unknown because I know that, if we nurses and doctors will not do it, no one else will,” Mercado said.
Mayor, who was nominated by several employees, has been on the frontlines since the beginning.
“Working as a nurse during the COVID-19 pandemic is one of the most difficult challenges my coworkers and I have ever faced,” Mayor said. “But the generosity and appreciation that Smith has shown us really make all the difference during the tough 12-hour shifts at the hospital.”
Mayor added: “Trust us nurses when we say that a chaotic day gets a lot better when our bellies are full, so thank you to Smith for the yummy meal!”