Casper’s Kelly Sites Talks About Fighting Coronavirus in Italy
Casper native Kelly Sites is a nurse who's on a mission in Italy helping support hospitals that are still in the middle of a battle with the coronavirus. She visited with us about what she's seeing on the ground and what we can expect in the Casper area over the next few weeks.
You can listen to our entire interview with Kelly here.
Kelly is from Casper and still has friends and family here.
Kelly Sites - "My mom and sister still live there so I'm back all the time...shout out to class of 1984 and NCHS...was just there last summer."
Kelly explained how she began to work with Samaritan's Purse as a nurse.
Kelly Sites - "I've been working with Samaritan's Purse...since the 2010 Haiti earthquake...I was working at the hospital and just kind of asked God if there was anything else he wanted me to do with my nursing career...and the Haiti earthquake struck."
Kelly said they arrived in Italy on March 17. In 56 hours, they put up their emergency hospital. She said they are there to support the local hospital where they're located in Italy.
We asked Kelly if that's the type of desperation they're seeing in Italy.
Kelly Sites - "We're pretty isolated and focused on our mission here so we haven't seen that component, but I wouldn't doubt that's the case. That hospital is doing an amazing job with what they're faced with...we're so honored to work alongside them...many of their colleagues have gotten sick so now they're short-staffed. It's just an incredible situation."
There are reports that over 6,000 health care professionals have been infected in Italy and 37 doctors there have lost their lives. Kelly told us about that intimidating challenge.
Kelly Sites - "We know what we're up against. Samaritan's Purse has done a lot of infectious diseases in the past...we have a healthy fear, but we don't let that stop us from providing compassionate care in the name of Jesus."
The US Surgeon General has estimated that we are about 2 weeks behind Italy in this coronavirus pandemic. With that in mind, we asked Kelly what we can expect to see here based on what she's seen in Italy.
Kelly Sites - "Our staff is so concerned...our hearts are with our families and our communities. We just want everyone especially in Casper...I want to challenge people in Casper to turn their anxieties, their worries, their fears into actions. Don't let it paralyze you...it's very important to follow the rules that they're putting out there. It's not just a hype situation. It's a strategy to help curtail this virus."
Kelly encourages those that can to shop for groceries for elderly friends and family to be proactive in helping their neighbors get through this.
You can find out more about Kelly Site's mission with Samaritan's Purse through their official website. Our thoughts are prayers are with them as they continue their mission. There are not sufficient words to express our admiration for the service, sacrifice, bravery and faith that Kelly and her colleagues are living every single day.