Nashville ICU nurse becomes COVID-19 patient, fights for his life at Saint Thomas West

Coronavirus

NASHVILLE, Tenn (WKRN) — When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Gary Woodward sprang into action, helping patients in the Intensive Care Unit and even helping musicians safely record music in quarantine.

Now, Gary needs the help of others.

For the past 25 years, Woodward has worked as a critical care nurse at Saint Thomas West, most recently working as the team leader in the COVID unit.

His wife, Jacque, works in healthcare, too. They discussed what that could mean for their own health during this global pandemic.

“We knew that there was a good risk that either one of us could end up testing positive,” said Jacque.

At the end of October, that became a reality for the Woodwards when Gary contracted coronavirus and was hospitalized a week later. In the same wing where he’d worked for 25 years.

“This is the first time he’s ever been in the hospital for an overnight stay. He has no, you know, no other diagnosis,” said Jacque.

COVID-19 landed Gary on a ventilator, damaged his kidneys and caused blood pressure problems.

His family wasn’t able to see him for week, but his co-workers had his back.

A photo shows other Saint Thomas doctors and nurses gathering outside Gary’s room, praying for strength and recovery. His wife said their support just might be the best medicine.

“This is what’s keeping us strong is our faith in the mighty healer. We know that God hears our prayers and that’s what’s going to get us through this. That’s what gets us through each day, just knowing that we have that reassurance that God is in control,” Jacque said.

Jacque asks for continued prayers for her husband’s recovery.

The Woodwards celebrated their 45th wedding anniversary Sunday with Jacque visiting Gary in the hospital for the first time in a month.

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