A nurse’s story: Trusting God while fighting COVID-19
If you need help, don’t hesitate to reach out
COVID-19 has affected us all. Whether you need prayers and pastoral support, job connections, or help with groceries, your HPUMC church family is here for you. In addition to teaching people about Jesus, Highland Park United Methodist Church strives to live out that message by being the hands and feet of Jesus every day. That’s why we encourage you to let us know how we can help during this difficult time.
Before the coronavirus, Mary Keckeisen, a critical care nurse at Parkland Hospital, was training for marathons and walking her dogs. “Life was pretty predictable,” she said. Even when the pandemic began, she never thought that COVID-19 would affect her personally or come to our community.
However, COVID-19 eventually made its way to the United States and the Dallas area. After a few patients with the coronavirus came to Parkland, the hospital started talking about forming a unit dedicated to fighting the coronavirus. So, Mary volunteered.
Since March 27, she has been working on the coronavirus ICU at Parkland. “It’s been a whirlwind,” she said. “I’ve had some of my best days at work ever and some of my worst days at work ever.”
Seeing seemingly healthy people succumb to COVID-19 has been difficult to process. And while these deaths seem to make no sense, Mary is confident in the knowledge that God is ultimately in control. After all, she has also seen incredible recoveries and watched people walk again for the first time. “That’s where God shows up,” she said. “The losses are horrible, but the wins are great.”
As cases of COVID-19 were rising in April, Mary, who grew up attending Highland Park United Methodist Church, learned that a local church would be holding an Easter sunrise service outside of the Parkland Hospital ER. When she found out that it was HPUMC, Mary wasn’t surprised.
“It was so needed for everybody involved,” she said. The music and Rev. Matt Tuggle’s message about ordinary people doing extraordinary things helped refresh her spirit and re-center her just as she was beginning to feel burned out.
Though many people have praised nurses and doctors for their heroic work, Mary insists that “Everybody can be a hero. It’s not just people on the frontlines. It’s people wearing their masks in the grocery store as an act of love for those around them, people working from home, or staying inside away from a social gathering.”
In the end, Mary realizes that health care professionals can’t battle COVID-19 alone, as she said, “It takes a village to fight a virus.”
If you would like to learn more about how you can support HPUMC’s coronavirus relief efforts, please visit hpumc.org/coronavirus-relief.