North Country nurses answer governor's call for help

PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. (WCAX) Thousands of nurses across the country have answered Gov. Andrew Cuomo's plea for help in New York City hospitals. Our Kelly O'Brien spoke to one North Country nurse who answered the governor's call and headed to the Big Apple to pitch in.

"I have been a nurse since 2012," Christina Perry said.

Perry usually spends her days in the Interventional Radiology unit at the Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital. She says the workflow has changed to help with COVID-19.

"Chest tubes, dialysis catheters, an assortment of things that COVID patients still needed," Perry said.

But she says she wanted to do more.

"I mean, I was helping at home but they are literally just crying for more help here," Perry said.

Over the next 10 weeks, Perry will still be in her scrubs and her personal protective gear, but the views outside the hospital windows will look a little different.

"I guess I'm just the person who wants to run into the house on fire while everyone else is running out," Perry said.

She will be living in East Harlem, working as a contracted nurse alongside other nurses and health care workers in the Progressive Care Unit at the New York-Presbyterian Allen Hospital in Manhattan.

"From what I hear, there are a lot of COVID patients on that unit," she said.

Monday is her first day working on the front lines in the epicenter of this disease but she says she's not afraid to face it.

"Maybe I just feel like I'm a little invincible sometimes and I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing, but I'm not nervous. I'm a little anxious because I don't fully know what to expect," Perry said.

She says it's going to be hard work but it's all worth it knowing what she's fighting for.

"Being there for support for the other hospital employees and emergency personnel and the patients," Perry said.

In her short time in the city, she says she has already felt so much support from those near and far.

"It's loud and cheering and it gives you goosebumps of everyone that's supporting you and behind you," she said.

Perry says she isn't the only nurse from CVPH working down in the Big Apple, seven nurses total-- all in different departments from the hospital-- are now on the front lines of the pandemic.