HOUSTON - We've heard a lot about hospital employees who are going above and beyond for patients who are alone and battling COVID-19 but who are these workers?
In this Positively Houston, we introduce you to one of them. Memorial Hermann Hospital RN Terri Hallford has been holding hands with, talking to, and being there for COVID19 patients, some as they take their last breath and this Registered Nurse's compassion isn't going unnoticed.
For several Houstonians Nurse Hallford's sweet singing voice is the last thing they ever heard. "I hope they feel the comfort from God flowing through me”. Nurse Hallford remembers one of the first COVID-19 patients in her care who was dying in a hospital room alone.
"I just couldn't leave her. So I sat there praying and singing. The only way that calms my soul is I start singing. One of my favorite songs I learned from my parents, His Eye Is On The Sparrow. I sing that to my patients”.
So many people praised Nurse Hallford for her beautiful bedside manner that Christian radio station KSBJ got wind of her and gave Hallford a Community Impact Award. "I feel very humbled. I know a lot of people that could be sitting in my position right now, a lot of healthcare workers who give so much to their patients,” Hallford says choking back tears.
It was Hallford and her team that treated the first two COVID-19 patients in Houston and their floor quickly grew to the COVID Unit. "It was like almost surreal. It's like things you see in the movies.
Then it started to sink in as we saw people we couldn't save. As we saw people struggling to breathe, young people that are struggling to breathe and you're thinking how could this happen?" Adding to the oddity of it all she had to move upstairs in her home to protect her husband of 44 years.
"We have a ledge that overlooks to downstairs. So I could stand upstairs and we would talk and communicate". At work Hallford, her colleagues, and the hospital Chaplain began to climb as close to Heaven as possible to hold prayer on the rooftop helipad. "It was always early in the morning just as the sun was rising".
Nurse Hallford says even as the pandemic is one giant of a problem for the world "Its kind of like David and Goliath, you know”, she feels confident COVID-19 will not win.
Her attitude is one her coworkers have come to expect and enjoy. "We can't lose our hope and our trust that somebody bigger than we are is still in control".