Coronavirus News: New York nurses help fight COVID-19 in Houston

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Monday, July 20, 2020
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Kemberly Richardson reports on nurses from New York City who are now helping to fight the coronavirus pandemic in Houston.

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- Nurses from New York City are lending a hand on the frontlines in Houston to help fight the pandemic.

They say it takes a village, and this is their way of giving back and paying it forward.

"It's quite a privilege to come to another area and help out," nurse Tim Verhey said.

Tim Verhey and Kristine Chan are part of a humble, courageous team of nurses from North Shore University Hospital and Long Island Jewish Medical, now on the ground in Texas, helping out as that city sees a surge in the number of COVID-19 cases.

"My fiancée just asked me if I felt safe and as long as you felt safe, go ahead," Chan said.

They're working out of churches, doing about 600 tests each day.

It's their way of giving back after getting so much out of town support when New York City was the epicenter of the pandemic.

Now through the worst of it, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo called on volunteers to help others in hot spots around the country.

"I've always wanted to volunteer, go on medical missions, it's been a dream of mine," Verhey said. "It just felt like a personal responsibility with everything we went through with COVID-19 in New York, felt like I needed to give back."

RELATED | Traveling nurses recall "It was like a medical war zone"

It's a two week commitment for Chan, which hits close to home. She lost her grandfather to COVID-19

The virus not only took away her grandfather, but it also took away a special day for her.

"July 17th was supposed to be my wedding in Cancun, Mexico, but here I am in Texas, it's all good," Chan said.

As for what lies ahead, if they were asked to volunteer on another city, both Verhey and Chan says they would do it again in a heartbeat.

"My wife is also a nurse in the ER and she was obviously scared but she knows what is going on and knows people need help and she was very happy to see me go," Verhey said.

The city of Houston is glad to have a bit of New York.

WATCH THE SERIES: EYEWITNESS TO A PANDEMIC (Episode 6 below)

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