The University of Massachusetts Amherst

Nicole Gauthier Croteau, Nursing Major '97, Shares COVID-19 Story

May 27, 2020


Nicole Gauthier Croteau, Nursing Major '97, shared these comments about nursing in the time of COVID-19:

"'Paula? I’m calling to tell you that we are limiting your visits to see your mom right now. Yes, limiting.' 

One week later: 'Paula? I’m calling to tell you that you can’t come see your mom. She’s not eating well. We can’t force her to eat. I know you know she’s on hospice. I’m so sorry.  We’ll figure out the virtual piece.'

One week later: 'Paula? I know she’s lived her for 5 years but you know, maybe you could take her home? She is wakeful at night but you could hire some private duty. You aren’t going to be able to see her and I know how terrible this is for all of you.'

Days later: 'Paula? We are emptying our facility to make a COVID recovery center in central MA. We found her another bed in one of our sister facilities. I’m so sorry. She’s still not eating.'  

Less than two weeks later I talked to Paula as she stood in the cold rain watching her mother die through the window in her new facility. 

This is simply one of the moments I have experienced. They seem countless tonight."