EL DORADO, Ark. — An El Dorado nurse is back home on Tuesday, after she spent the last week in Albany, Georgia on the frontlines.
LaDonna Young said she was willing to go and help for two different reasons: other states were in desperate need of extra hands and she wanted to see a different view.
"There's different ways to approach COVID, as far as diagnosis and treatment, so I kind of wanted to go and get a different idea of how it's treated and handled to help my patients in Arkansas," she said.
Young left her nurse practitioner role at the Medical Center of South Arkansas in El Dorado to help out as an RN in what some call "a coronavirus hotspot."
"It was almost like when I went in there, it was a war zone. If you've ever watched the twilight zone, it was like an episode of the twilight zone," she said.
Young took care of patients young and old, while slowly watching them get sicker.
These memories that she describes as "too painful to put into words."
"It was kind of like, you do the best you can, but unfortunately, sometimes that just wasn't enough," she said.
The state of Georgia taught Young one main thing: Everyone needs to be aware that this virus hasn't gone anywhere.
"Just because we're opening the state, doesn't mean that it's gone and we don't need to forget about it," she said.
Young said she wanted to bring these lessons home, so she packed her bags to come back and help Arkansans.
"Since I did go, a lot more needs to be done here than I realized, in preparation, for what I think is the next surge of COVID patients," she said.
This next wave that Young wants everyone to be mindful about as "closed" signs flip to "open."
"Don't forget everything we just learned. Don't just wake up and pretend it's not there because it is," she said.
Young pleads for Arkansans to continue practicing social distancing, wash your hands, wear a mask, and check on your loved ones.
She is currently quarantined from her family and will be able to return to work in five days.