Lakewood nurse heads to New Jersey to help coronavirus patients and protect her own family

LAKEWOOD, Calif. (KABC) -- One of the many challenges health-care workers face is how to avoid unintentionally bringing coronavirus home to their own families.

Some are choosing to work out of state.

As a hospice and palliative-care nurse, Christina Berroud is trained to treat and care for the most seriously ill patients. For the past eight years, she used her skills to help patients all over Los Angeles County until the coronavirus outbreak hit.

"I was already around COVID patients but I didn't want to take it home. So, I got an opportunity to come to New Jersey because obviously it is pretty bad out here. So I decided to take it so I would not be around my kids," said Berroud.

The 37-year-old mother of two knew she'd have to isolate herself away from her family if she stayed.

So on Tuesday she left her Lakewood home and flew to New Jersey to work at a post-acute care and rehabilitation center. The center is being used to free up beds at the local hospital. She says 90% of the patients at the 200-bed facility have COVID-19.

"Being here everyone needs to know it is real. There are young people here... there are old people here and they are dying," she said.

Berroud is not the only out-of-state nurse supporting and shoring up health-care workers in New Jersey. She said nurses from all over the country have been recruited to help out after some nurses left out of fear or came down with the virus.

"Just like the soldiers that go out and fight wars for us, our nurses are out on the battlefield also," said Berroud.

It's a battle on the front lines with an invisible enemy she expects to be on for the next four to five months.

"We just have to do what we have to do to get this disease in order. That's the only thing we can do," she said.
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