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Charlotte nurse sits with COVID-19 patients | "Someone needs to be with them"

A Charlotte nurse held the hand of a man dying from the coronavirus. He was all alone because his family wasn't permitted to be there due to virus restrictions.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — It takes someone special to make patients feel loved through all the coronavirus chaos. 

Cassie Brault has been working at Novant in the Medical Surgical Intensive Care Unit for almost four years and in the last two months, her job has changed drastically as she cares for COVID-19 patients.

Taking the time to sit and hold the hand of a man all alone, dying from the coronavirus, was the only option for Brault. His family couldn't be there in person.

“That killed me. Of course, we were able to Zoom call with the family, but I put myself in their shoes and I really don't know how they can't even just hold their loved one’s hand or just to see them one more time,” said Brault. 

The man was her first patient to pass away from coronavirus.  His family says her actions made them feel better.

“Someone needs to be with them. I mean it's hard. It’s hard to see those ICU rooms shut and all the equipment in there and just that one patient in there alone day after day after day,” she said.

She does it because she's felt that love being on the other side, when her dad was battling cancer when she was in college at the University of South Carolina.

“[The nurses] were awesome. They're like angels honestly. They made me and my mom get through the hardest moment of our lives,” she remembers. 

That’s when she knew she made the right career choice.

RELATED: Recognizing National Nurses Week during coronavirus pandemic

She's been a nurse at Novant for almost four years. She teaches nurses just starting out. In the last two months, her day to day has changed and it takes a toll on her mentally and physically, but she goes back every single day, knowing what she does matters.

Credit: Novant
RN Cassie Brault holds the hand of a dying COVID-19 patient at Novant in the Medical Surgical Intensive Care Unit.

"It’s definitely scary. I haven't been able to see my parents in two months.  I haven't seen my niece and nephew in two months, so it's been hard in that aspect, but I know I signed up for this when I became a nurse,” said Brault.

As the coronavirus pandemic changes people’s lives forever, she is comforting and caring when it matters most.

Now, more than ever, nurses nationwide are also turning to the public for support amid the coronavirus pandemic. Nurses, along with other health workers, are on the front line, battling the deadly virus each day. Health officials say you can help show support and appreciation for nurses and other health professionals by slowing the spread of COVID-19. That includes staying home as much as you can, keeping a safe distance, washing your hands often, covering your cough, and other good hygiene habits. 

WCNC Charlotte is recognizing nurses across the Carolinas on social with #WCNCNurses and we're showcasing nurses in each of our newscasts during National Nurses Week.

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