Memphis medical professionals helping out in New York to fight COVID-19

Updated: Apr. 17, 2020 at 3:12 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The coronavirus pandemic has hit New York harder than any other city in the United States.

There are more than 218,000 confirmed cases of COVID -19 with more than 15,000 deaths, and the need for additional medical staff to care for those patients.

A group of Memphis medical professionals are in New York, helping out in some of the hardest hit areas.

Those four Memphians are Commander Bert Smith, Lieutenant Brittany Lindberg, Lieutenant Commander Mark Brady and Lieutenant Stacy Hydrick.

“That’s what we're built to do, is go into a field or a setting that has nothing and create a medical treatment facility,” said Lt. Stacy Hydrick, Navy Reserve.

Lieutenant Stacy Hydrick is with the United States Navy Reserve and is part of the Forest Medical Battalion that was sent to New York on April 5.

The group is helping at Elmhurst Hospital in Queens, Woodhull Hospital near Manhattan and on board the Navy hospital ship Comfort.

“They are so pitifully sick and they are scared and that's so understandable,” said Hydrick.

She said New York is almost unrecognizable. No one is out, the streets are empty, and inside the emergency room -- it’s traumatic for patients and their families.

"We are treating these patients like our family because we know that families can't be with their loved ones,” said Hydrick. “It's not just the 70s and 80-year people with the core morbidities, that’s not the case. You are seeing people from their 30s on.”

The group is working shifts throughout the days and nights where they are needed. They've been there for almost two weeks and are prepared to stay longer.

“The New Yorkers who this hit so hard and so fast and who didn't have help at the time, their spirit is indomitable. I have so much respect for every single one of them,” said Hydrick.

Memphis doctors and nurses in military uniform, helping out in one of the worst places hit during the pandemic, and will stay -- until they’re ordered elsewhere.

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