Local nurses heading to India amid staggering COVID-19 crisis

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Local nurses are among dozens across the country answering the call for help as the COVID-19 catastrophe in India deepens.

Hospitals across the country are running out of beds, and morgues are overflowing.

Despite that, what started as a handful of American nurses communicating on Facebook about helping out, quickly turned into a plan.

"It started maybe like five of us and now we have like 50 people confirmed to go," said Registered Nurse Melodie Nelson of Auburn, Pennsylvania.

Nelson said her group is already in the process of working out a deal with a non-profit organization in India to hash out details like housing, food and where their services might be best utilized.

"The thing we're working on now is flights because flights are, at least, round-trip $800, which is out-of-pocket. So, it's something we're fundraising for now," Nelson said.

Alexis Heisler, a Registered Nurse from Nazareth, Pennsylvania is going, too.

She admits the biggest concern for her is not knowing exactly what to expect.

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"I am so scared and nervous. We were told to bring our own N95s, our own gloves, everything," she said.

But both Nelson and Heisler said explaining their motivation is really quite simple: this is what medical professionals do.

"You just do it, you know? We're nurses and we're helping other people," Nelson said.

If you would like to lend your support, their collective effort is titled "American Nurses on a Mission to India."
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