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WNY nurses say families both at work and home are helping them stay strong while fighting a pandemic

In honor of Nurses Week, 2 On Your Side is saluting our health heroes on the front lines.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — For some nurses on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic, it all comes down to the support of the families. Both the ones who support them at home, and at work. 

Shiloh Bromstead is a clinical Nurse Manager in Roswell's Intensive Care Unit. She's spent the majority of her career in the ICU, and says she loves the camaraderie of the nurses on her floor, and the opportunity to jump in and intervene in critical life-saving situations. 

Shiloh said their entire worlds have been turned upside down over the last several weeks, with everyone at Roswell coming together to prevent the spread of coronavirus. Since you have to be a Roswell patient to be admitted to their hospital, any COVID-19 positive patients in her unit are already going through a fight against cancer. Shiloh said the nurses have had to step up to provide additional emotional support along with physical care. 

"It's very scary for them, especially since they can't have their families here," Shiloh told 2 On Your Side. "So we are the ones that are go-between with them and their families. We do provide iPads so they can speak to their families if they're able to. A lot of my patients are unable to. That's probably the hardest thing, is knowing these patients are here alone." 

When asked what she will remember about working during the pandemic, Shiloh said it would be two things. The support of her husband and their 13-year-old daughter, as well as the way her staff has gone above and beyond in these difficult circumstances.

One example is the way they've hung artwork created by their own children throughout the floor to lift spirits of both patients and fellow staff members.

"We kind of adopted the rainbow theme because it symbolizes hope," she said. "I had a nurse who did a lot of work at home and printed out rainbows, and we all sent them home to our staff and had our kids at home color them. 

We put them around the unit, just  kind of brighten everybody's days, Not just the patients, but also our staffs."

For another local nurse, Danyelle Hall, of WNY's V.A. Healthcare System, serving is also all about family. Hall is a registered nurse and has been at Buffalo's VA Hospital for almost 12 years. Her father is a veteran, and she says working there is her way of taking care of America's heroes and giving back. Hall's sister is also a nurse at the VA. 

As a mother of four herself, Danyelle says working through a pandemic has been scary at times, but ultimately rewarding.

"It's a very selfless job," she told 2 On Your Side. "We come in and we give up seeing our families and being with our kids, but I believe people just enjoy helping people and being at the bedside. The people that I work with have become family,  so it's like I'm going into work and seeing my other family. We just work together so well and make the best out of each situation every day."

Danyelle's sons are ages 12, 10, 5 and her daughter turns 1 on Mother's Day. She recently learned she's been chosen as the VA of Western New York's Nurse of Distinction for 2020.

As we salute our nurses all week long, we're continuing to share your photos that you've posted with the hashtag #BeOn2. Help us say "thank you" to a nurse in your life by sharing a photos with us today.

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