Local nurse defeats COVID-19, then returns to help patients

YARDLEY, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- One local nurse has experienced both sides of the coronavirus pandemic: caring for the sick at a rehab and long term care facility, and as a patient herself battling the virus.

Wednesday was nurse Maria Philipps' first day back at work since suffering from the coronavirus and undergoing two rounds of quarantine.

She says she's more determined than ever to be there for her patients. And that's exactly what she sees in her fellow coworkers.

"I pulled out my phone and started to write, I just wanted to write a goodbye. I didn't know if I was going to make it through the night. That's how terrifying it was," said Philipps.

Nurse Philipps was convinced that the night of April 2 would be her last. She's been a nurse for more than 30 years, but never experienced anything like fighting COVID-19.

"It hit us all at one time. It was like we were mugged. There was no warning no nothing, it's just there," she says.

Philipps says the illness spread through the ManorCare facility in Yardley, Pa., and even while wearing PPE, the virus spread to her.

But she's thankful for the treatments that are becoming widely utilized in this fight.

"I took that hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin immediately, and it went great."

After quarantine, she was determined to get back to work, and to the bedside of the sick.

"I wanted to make sure I could see their eyes again - wanted to make sure I was there to see a recovery."

Philipps says her team what keeps her going, despite the difficulty of the work.

"The nurses out there are not just providing healthcare, they're providing emotional and mental care," said Philipps.

Nurse Philipps says the silver lining is that the majority of COVID-19 patients are recovering, she's glad she had the opportunity to do so as well.
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