DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - A COVID nurse from Daytona Beach shared her father's last moments with others in hopes people will take the pandemic seriously. He caught COVID after going to a relative's volleyball game.
Wayne Oney, 69, is seen in a picture struggling with COVID at a hospital in Ohio.
His daughter, Lindsey Fairchild, said she wanted to be the one holding his hand as he died, but instead, his nurses stepped in.
"I had my mask and goggles and everything I needed, and despite that, I was respectfully told that’s not allowed," Fairchild said.
Fairchild is a COVID nurse in Daytona Beach. With her protective gear from work, she thought she’d be allowed inside her father’s hospital room, but that wasn’t the case.
"They set up some chairs outside the door and allowed us to look through the window. Nurses were there and they held my Dad’s hand as he died. And I stood outside the door and I feel like it’s my job to hold someone’s hand," she said.
So after her dad’s death, Fairchild returned to work with an even greater passion to help families and patients.
"Now, I feel like I have to be even more of an advocate for these patients," she said.
FOX 35 asked, "What’s the most challenging part of being a nurse during COVID?" She said, "Right now it's just the exhaustion. We are short staffed."
It also frustrates her to see COVID getting political and warns others not to downplay the virus.
"It doesn’t have to be about choosing a side. This is your community."
It’s one of her patients who survived COVID that gives her the will to keep working.
"He gave me the hope, strength that I needed to just keep going."
So she does, comforting others, just like other nurses did for her dad.
"The last thing he [her dad] told me was that he was scared and didn’t want to die."