“Snow Angel” Nurse Braved Snow Storm To Be With Patients
During the worst of Winter Storm Jonas recently, over 50 nurses didn’t turn up for their shift at a nursing home in the Bronx, New York, but they were sure glad when one nurse, Chantelle Diabate, braved the weather to make it in for a double shift.
The 32-year-old single mother, who is a licensed practical nurse, works the night shift (11 p.m. to 7 a.m.) at the Hebrew Home in Riverdale, NY which houses over 840 elderly patients.
Diabate has only worked there for a little over 6 months, but was so concerned about making it in to care for her patients that she braved the storm which dumped a recorded 26.8 inches of snow, according to the New York Daily News.
The Washington Heights nurse realized as she was leaving work on Saturday morning that there was no way she would be able to go to her home and make it back for her shift again in the evening. She decided to crash at the place of a friend in the Bronx and even though the weather got progressively worse, spent quite a considerable time walking the 1.5 miles back to her work in 26 inches of snow for the evening shift.
“My drive for me was my patients,” Diabate told The New York Post on Sunday, while she was still working a double shift. “I walked for about an hour and all I kept thinking was, I really love my patients,” the nurse who has been dubbed the Snow Angel added.
Diabate went on to say that she sees her patients so often that they seem like family to her.
After finding someone to care for her 3-year-old daughter, she went to her friends place in the Bronx on Saturday morning. “As long as my daughter was safe [with a baby-sitter], I knew I had to come back and take care of my second family. I knew they needed people and it was an emergency,” Diabate said.
Despite the fact that she heard on the news that public transportation had been canceled as the storm intensified, Diabate was the only night shift worker to make it to Hebrew Home.
“This is what I do for a living, I love it, and I have a passion for it,” Diabate said. “I love the geriatric community they have so much to offer. They shaped the world we live in today,” she added.
That area got over 26 inches of snow that Diabete had to walk through. Describing her walk through the snow to work that evening, Diabate said that at first she tried to walk normally and ended up like speed walking on ice. She added that a friend walked with her until they fell, so she decided to carry on her journey at a steady even pace, knowing that eventually she would arrive at work.
“When I went out there, the wind it just, hit me in the face,” Diabate recalled on Sunday. “The winds were strong. The snow was high,” she added about when she eventually saw the gates to the nursing home with a sigh of relief as she rubbed the ice out of her eyes and face.
“She was the only nurse that came in,” Hebrew Home supervisor Mojdeh Rutigliano said of the nurse who turned up for her shift wearing snow boots and a bubble coat with a hoodie.
“The majority of our nurses called in sick. They just couldn’t come,” Rutigliano continued. “Talk about crisis mode. But…