Front Lines of Coronavirus: OH Medical Helicopter Nurse Knows How Quickly Life Can Change

first_img(c)2020 the Journal-News (Hamilton, Ohio) The CareFlight crew is small — a pilot and two flight nurses — so Oakley is trained in a multitude of advanced lifesaving procedures. Oakley, 36, is a single mother who lives in Troy with her 10-year-old daughter and eight-year-old son. “That always makes it a little more memorable, especially ones that are not doing so well and you don’t think that they’re going to make it,” she said. Oakley — who now must wear a head cap, mask, a full covering on over a flight suit, double gloves and booties — has seen the virus infect people of all ages. ___ When she returns home from work, her children stop her at the door and ask whether she had any COVID patients. On days that she has, the children don’t get hugs until after Oakley strips down and showers, she said. Oakley started studying nursing in 2003, but before that she was an EMT while in high school and responded to 911 calls while attending nursing school at the Kettering College of Medical Arts. Prior to this school year, Oakley taught nursing as an adjunct faculty member at Edison State Community College, but had to put that aside because she needed the flexibility to educate her children. “When you pile school on top of that, that’s just a big ask and a tough task. She excels at that; she does it with grace and really does a great job in doing all that in stride,” Marshall said. But none of the training fully prepared Oakley and other healthcare workers for coronavirus. Photo courtesy Premier Health’s CareFlight “We really didn’t know what we were facing, what the best practices were, what kind of equipment we should be using, how should we be treating these patients,” she said. “I see people that are having probably one of the worst days of their lives. But I want to be there to try and make it just a little bit better,” she said. Oakley knows her actions have helped certain patients survive. Oakley’s interest in being a flight nurse was set in motion when she was 14 and a boyfriend at the time was in a significant motor vehicle accident and flown to Grant Medical Center in Columbus. She assisted with his recovery in the hospital, and at the same time took notice of the healthcare workers — and those in the air. “Not only is she on the front lines out there helping those in need with being a flight nurse. But one of the other sides of all of this … is that parent who’s at home with their kids during online learning,” Marshall said. “Something this job has really taught me is how quickly life can change,” she said. “I wish everyone had that realization so that everyone makes the most of what time they have and to not hold grudges.” As a flight nurse, Oakley has responded to accidents, stabbings, shootings, ATV accidents and drownings. But the CareFlight crew also transports patients, usually from smaller hospitals and clinics to larger facilities where the patient can get specialized care. “I thought that was kind of cool, and you can fly in a helicopter. ‘Let’s see what it takes to get there,’” she said. “That’s one of the unique things with being a flight nurse, we wear many hats,” she said. “We deal with high risk OB (obstetrics) patients, we deal with the pediatrics, we deal with patients that are having strokes, patients that are having heart attacks. We kind of know a little bit about a lot.” A flight nurse on board Premier Health’s CareFlight since 2013, Oakley said her job can be both heartbreaking and rewarding. (MCT) Despite a better understanding now of how to guard against spread of the virus, the number of patients Oakley helps transport has been on the upswing over the last month — as many as 40%, she said. “We initially thought this is going to impact only the elderly; the younger people may get sick, but it’s not going to be that bad. We’re seeing that’s not the case.,” she said. “It can hit anybody and it can do significant damage.” “She represents one of the unsung heroes during all of this,” said friend Scott Marshall, who nominated Oakley as one who helps and inspires others in the region. Journal-News, Hamilton, Ohio Oakley works three 12-hour days, which often stretch into four with meetings and continuing education. On her days off she’s home helping her neighbor’s kindergartner and first grader, and her own second grader and fifth grader with their online lessons. “I would want somebody to do that for my 85-year-old papaw, and I’m glad that I can do that for somebody else’s family member,” she said. Dec. 26—A constant witness to the fragility of life, Jessica Oakley offers advice in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. Chris Stewart Better, she said, is simply holding the hand of an elderly person who’s sick or injured and afraid. Visit the Journal-News (Hamilton, Ohio) at www.journal-news.com Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.last_img read more

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Meryl & Me: Beth Leavel on Swapping Roles with Streep in The Prom & Devil Wears Prada

first_img View Comments “If you’re going to give your child to someone, I think Meryl’s probably the best person,” Tony winner Beth Leavel jokes about swapping roles with three-time Oscar winner Meryl Streep. Leavel is referring to the fact that Streep will be playing Leavel’s Tony-nominated role of stage diva Dee Dee Allen in the Netflix adaptation of Broadway’s The Prom. Meanwhile, Leavel will take on Streep’s Oscar-nommed role of fashion editor Miranda Priestly in the upcoming Devil Wears Prada musical. Meryl Streep as Miranda Priestly in the 2006 film The Devil Wears Prada(Fox 2000 Pictures) Beth Leavel(Photo by Emilio Madrid for Broadway.com) Beth Leavel with Brooks Ashmanskas in The Prom on Broadway(Photo: Deen van Meer) Beth Leavel Leavel, who recently triumphed in a sold-out concert engagement at Feinstein’s/54 Below, is clearly taking the swap in stride, expressing excitement about her upcoming project. “I can’t wait to play this phenomenal role, this strong woman with so many complexities. And she’s going to look gorgeous,” Leavel says of Miranda. “The Devil Wears Prada is one of my favorite films ever, and I don’t know many people who don’t feel that way. I’m so excited to see how this creative team [Elton John, Shaina Taub, Paul Rudnick and Anna D. Shapiro] are going to make it sing. Not all movies lend themselves to song. I think that this one does, so I’m going to sit back and enjoy this journey,” Leavel says, adding, “Dear Diary, This is going to be a great time in my life. Love, Beth.”The Prom film adaptation is currently in production, and the original Broadway cast, who lovingly developed the musical but are not starring in the film, are happy for the show’s next incarnation. “We had slowly but surely been building up the message and the fanbase of the show, and then to know Ryan Murphy loved it so much that he was going to make it into a film was astonishing,” Leavel says, noting that the Broadway cast can’t wait to see the final film. “We already talked about it. I think we’re going to have a big viewing party at someone’s house and just share. It will be a celebration!” The Devil Wears Prada Star Files Is it bittersweet to see The Prom with its new cast? (In addition to Streep, the film’s company includes James Corden, Nicole Kidman and Andrew Rannells). “The original stars knew that chances were we wouldn’t be a part of that, and, of course, we had to mourn that loss. But ultimately, how ever we can get the message of The Prom to the most people should be the most important thing. Here’s the child I gave birth to, world. Have at it. I’m thrilled that it’s going to be seen everywhere.”With so much in common, one might think Leavel and Streep are pals now. But that’s not the case (yet). “Now Meryl and I are two degrees of separation,” Leavel notes. “I do hope I get to meet her. If she’s in Midtown and would like a cup of tea or just has to go to the bathroom, please just call me.” Related Showslast_img read more

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