Keeping Up with the Krew: Claire

By: Courtney Holmes

Originally from the Philippines, Claire, a registered nurse, has worked all over the globe in her 16 years of nursing, traveling to Europe, Canada, Mexico, and the United States. She has over eight years of ER experience with three years of emergency flight nursing.

Claire was on an international flight home, transporting patients from Mexico in March 2020 when she first heard about Krucial Rapid Response. After learning about the dire need for competent nurses on the front lines of the pandemic, she took a leave from her flight nurse job and temporarily said goodbye to her husband and young son to take her skills to New York to help. Her vast cross-culture experience made her able to jump in to help immediately as she entered the hospital.

“Being a nurse is a sacred duty for me, it’s not just a responsibility but a true calling to serve and care. My dedication as a nurse grew tenfold during that short but substantial experience during my deployment in New York,” Claire said. 

In New York, although slightly overwhelmed at the new challenge of a pandemic, she quickly advanced to working charge nurse shifts. Her experiences made her a leader on the floor despite COVID-19 ripping through the Big Apple.

Around the one-month mark of her emergency deployment, she got the surprise of her life. 

“[While on deployment with Krucial], with little to no sleep, pushing stretchers, transporting patients, doing CPR and so on… did not stop me from doing what I’m supposed to do as a crisis response nurse in the ER,” Claire said. “I started to have significant appetite changes, which caused me to question what was going on because there were no GI symptoms for COVID at the time. No, it wasn’t covid or illness; I was 19 weeks pregnant.”

She was immediately scared, not wanting to hurt the baby with her constant exposure to COVID-19. Claire consulted those she trusted, ultimately deciding to leave deployment immediately. After the discovery, she scheduled an appointment with her gynecologist back in Florida to find a full-blown baby on the ultrasound. 

A healthy baby boy made his appearance five months later. 

Overjoyed with the new addition to their family, Claire soaked up precious time with her son, while also focusing on getting healthy and healing from the pregnancy. After receiving medical clearance from her doctor, Claire was ready to deploy again, just as COVID-19 cases increased in Texas. 

Many obstacles stood in her way to serving both her new baby and the job she loves as a crisis nurse. However, she was determined to do both, proving to us all that anything is possible.

Pumping milk for her baby on deployment was a priority, and she found a company that would freeze vacuum the milk, then ship it from Texas to Florida. She credits her co-workers in Texas on deployment with reminding her to take it day by day, fueling her spirit and encouraging her to stay resilient. While she admits there were challenging mental health moments, she is thankful for technology to see her children every day over FaceTime. Her family was also super supportive throughout her deployment with many texts, calls, and videos. 

Through it all, she describes everything she went through as manageable in her unique story, owning the calling in her life to see people heal through nursing while raising a family.

“I missed out on some things being gone, but honestly, it was all worth it. There are no regrets. I got to do what I love, which is to help people. But after my time in Texas, I had [several] months straight with my little ones [in between working],” Claire said. 

She served three total deployments with Krucial Rapid Response between 2020-2021. 

One of the things she looks forward to doing more with her family in the future is traveling.

“I want to teach my kids about as many cultures as I can,” Claire said. “I want to travel with them and show them the world.”

Today, Claire is enjoying life with her family in Florida while serving patients in whatever way she can. She appreciates how Krucial has afforded her extra time off to spend with her young family between taking assignments. But also, a story to tell them when they are older about how she was on the frontlines helping as many people as possible.

Want to nominate someone to be featured? Please reach out to us at social_media@krucialrr.org

"I started to have significant appetite changes, which caused me to question what was going on because there were no GI symptoms for COVID at the time. No, it wasn't covid or illness; I was 19 weeks pregnant."

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