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Nysheema Epps, Bryant DeShields, and Jerome White from Burlington, NJ donning their own personal protective equipment.

Nysheema Epps, Bryant DeShields, and Jerome White from Burlington, NJ donning their own personal protective equipment.

On March 23, 2020, Nysheema, Bryant, and Jerome, the staff in Burlington, New Jersey shined as one of our residents in Florence, New Jersey was taken to the emergency room with a temperature of 103. He was assessed and diagnosed with pneumonia and immediately hospitalized. During the initial assessment, COVID–19 testing was performed, but after two weeks the test came back inconclusive due to an insufficient sample. During this time, he was isolated in a hospital without anyone who knew him. He is on the autism spectrum and has limited ability to communicate and convey his needs. This caused added stress and anxiety. He underwent a second test for COVID-19 which unfortunately came back positive.

Finally, the hospital determined he was safe enough to return to his home and self-isolate however, due to the level of direct supports he required, the medical team at the hospital determined we needed complete hazmat attire in order to work with him. The team spent nearly seven days looking for gowns, face shields, N94 masks and other protective gear without luck. The team never lost hope and with some innovation and determination, created their own personal protective equipment consisting of paint suits, swim goggles, rubber gloves, and blue surgical masks. The hospital finally agreed to discharge due to the team’s valiant efforts. The individual has been home recovering and is very happy. These true heroes were willing to do all it takes during this very difficult and stressful time. Read Newsletter.

Burlington, NJ