Northwest Arkansas nurse heading to help in COVID-19 hotspot

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"I got the call from the nursing agency and she said 'When's the soonest you can leave?' And I was like, 'Okay God, where did that come from?"

SPRINGDALE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Jamye Perry has been a registered nurse for almost 20 years, but that wasn’t always her plan.

“I wanted to be a beautician,” Perry said. “I wanted to be a teacher. Clearly you can see I’ve always wanted to do something with people.”

She’s now using her passion to help patients fighting COVID-19 in Bridgeport, Connecticut, which is an area that’s been hit hard by the virus.

“I heard the mayor of New York talking and he was begging and he was pleading,” Perry said. “He said if there’s any way you can come and help us, if you don’t work in a crisis area, please come and help us because we are in dire need.”

Perry said it wasn’t an easy choice to make.

“I had so much to think through, like my job here and my family,” Perry said.

But she said she couldn’t ignore what she feels she was called to do.

“I couldn’t really help but imagine my hospital being overrun and us needing help and no one coming because of the fear,” Perry said.

Equipped with more than enough knowledge of how to protect herself from the virus, Perry said she’s not afraid to face it. But her mission doesn’t come without fear. 

“I think I’m actually more scared of how I’m going to feel being away from my family for four weeks,” Perry said. “And then when I come back, how people are going to respond to me having been there.”

But she said it’s worth it for the important work she’s going to be doing.

“Being able to be an encouragement to people whenever they’re there by themselves, that’s really hard to watch,” Perry said. “Because they are terrified. And I’m just another person.” 

Perry said after the four weeks, she’ll be ready to fight the virus here or anywhere else she feels called to.

She leaves Sunday, April 26.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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