Coronavirus News: NYPD applauds doctors, nurses traveling home after helping in NYC COVID-19 battle

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Behind the applause is a heartfelt thank you.

"This is something that I'll never forget in my life," said Jason Anderson, a nurse practitioner from Orlando.

Each of these doctors and nurses left their lives behind weeks ago, to travel to New York City in the midst of a crisis and in our moment of need, and now they get to go home.

The NYPD gave them the hero's salute they deserved as they left a Midtown hotel for their final shift with a police escort.

They were here for the apex.

Anderson says he saw some of the toughest moments of his career.

"Unfortunately we've seen a lot of passing away but it's been an honor to be there with them," he said. "Unfortunately the families of the patients can't be there. Unfortunately they're alone, but we've been there for them to hold their hand at the very last minute."

It's been three weeks since on the front lines for Ohio nurse Brooklyn Hazel, who left her 8-month-old baby boy to work at Lincoln hospital.

"It's been rough, especially the first week and a half, everything you see on the news is true but probably way worse," Hazel said.

But through those hard days, there are moments like these, where they've felt the love and appreciation of New Yorkers.

"That's what get us through our day, the NYPD, the FDNY, they've been great, seeing people in the high rises clapping, beating their pans together," Anderson said.

Each of them will return home, to quarantine.

Hazel is looking forward to finally hugging her baby again. "I'm emotional about it now," she said.

The NYPD made sure they left knowing, to New Yorkers they're our heroes.

"These are some amazing people that I will always remember," Anderson said. "This whole experience I will remember."

The early morning tribute stemmed from a letter a health care worker named Jason wrote to Police Commissioner Dermot Shea.

The letter asked, "We 'Back The Blue, now will you Back The Scrubs?'"

"My name is Jason and I am one of the MANY nurses, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and respiratory therapists who left their home to come to NYC to help during this pandemic. First, it has been an absolute honor and pleasure being here. ... In my entire nursing career, I have never seen some of the things that I have seen here ... I have cried so many tears over these patients (both who live and passed away). I have done so many chest compressions, I may have actually gained muscle mass. I have stare COVID-19 in the face and rebuked it in the name of Jesus - and with that, I have gotten patient's pulses back. ... That is why I am writing to you. Tomorrow, (4/22/2020), is the last day of our contract for many of our healthcare providers. I am reaching out to you, the commissioner, and many of the different precincts to see if you can lend us a helping hand.... Would you or your commanding officers/police be willing to help send us off to our LAST shift tomorrow morning by giving some of our busses a police escort. The community, the police, and the fire department have all been great by showing their gratitude during our stay so I'm hoping that you can help us out one last time by escorting us to our hospital one last time with lights and sirens blaring!!! Please consider this request. If you are able to help with this, we have about 6 or 7 busses.

We "Back The Blue", now will you "Back The Scrubs"?"



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