NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – New York City has been hit hard by COVID-19 and medical professionals from across the country have been asked to join the efforts.
Joshua Lippincott, a former Belmont cheerleader and University of Tennessee graduate – who is now a nurse – didn’t have to be asked.
“As I was sitting on my couch nursing my coffee rather than nursing folks, I knew that this isn’t where I was supposed to be,” said Lippincott.
So, he went to where he was supposed to be.
“I got a plane ticket and I arrived in New York City literally for the very first time, and I hit the ground running to love and serve people that were hurting the most.”
He left his home in San Francisco, California and signed a 13-week contract to work at a local hospital in the big apple.
“I happen to be a nurse that provides an income and a livelihood, but it’s first a calling. I get to help people,” he said. “I have a skill set to do things that others can’t and why would I not go when someone says they need help?”
He quickly learned help was desperately needed.
“I’ll be honest with you. There are those days where you just stop in your tracks and you start crying. There are those days where you get angry because you want to fight. There’s days in which you don’t have the right equipment.”
“Family want to come and be there and they can’t so we use FaceTime as much as possible with our phones to just try and make that connection for them. It was hard, it was tiring it was sweaty it was non-stop.”
As a temporary Tennessee resident during his years at Belmont and the University of Tennessee, he has a message for his former home.
“If we still don’t do our part, if we still do not believe the reality that I’m seeing, if anyone does not believe me, I’ll be more than happy to talk to anybody about what X-rays look like when the lungs don’t expand, when people are gasping for breath, and we’re doing emergency response because we are just trying to save their life. This is a reality and just because you’re not experiencing it, don’t dismiss it as we are all trying to work together as a state and really as a nation.”
Lippincott details what life is like fighting the virus in NYC in this video: