Mother & daughter nurse team takes on COVID-19 at Temple University Hospital

PHILADELPHIA, Pa. -- 62-year-old Patricia Gannon feels like she trained her entire career for this pivotal war against the Coronavirus. She selflessly fights alongside other healthcare workers at Temple University Hospital, which she calls her family.

The word "family" takes on a new meaning when she crosses paths with her daughter, 40-year-old Siobhan Knox, in the battleground hallways where they both work as registered nurses.

Both women, now living in Hatboro, say their workplace has totally transformed. Some departments have changed lanes, turning orthopedic nurses into COVID-19 nurses for example. Resources are being pulled from across the hospital campus to pull their fight against the novel virus in focus.

6abc has learned Temple University Hospital has treated the largest number of coronavirus patients of any hospital in the region.

Routine work has changed to reflect this, as elective procedures remain in limbo. "Anything that can wait... waits," Gannon pointed out.

Nurses like her are among the now-extremely limited audience by any hospital patient's side. Those who were trained to be intimate caretakers must now minimize contact as much as possible. Apart from the practical science of nursing, they must also nurture positivity among their patients. They accomplish this through connecting them with family on the outside, or simply telling jokes.

"It's so stressful and it's so hard, but it's worth it," said Knox, who decided to become a nurse after witnessing her mother's rewarding career.

This year seemed like a good opportunity for her mother to retire. But in the face of a pandemic unlike any other, Gannon said, ""There's no way I'm walking away."
It's a battle made easier by each other's comfort, as the mother-daughter team exchanges high-fives and words of encouragement. They hope their story will encourage the community to keep faith in their front line workers and make it through this unprecedented crisis.

To stay up-to-date on Coronavirus coverage, stay tuned to 6abc and read Temple University Hospital's official reports.

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