05.11.2020|Inside Verizon

Family on the frontline.

By: Dave Boerger

One V Teamer’s thoughts are with her nephew, a doctor working in a Boston hospital.

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We probably all know someone -- a friend, relative, neighbor -- who is working on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic and is often in our thoughts.

For Julie Crews, Planning and Design Operations Project Lead in Cary, NC, it’s her nephew, Jeff Richards, a Registered Cardiovascular Invasive Specialist at Massachusetts General Hospital.

“I’m proud of him,” said Julie. “If someone else’s health is in jeopardy, I feel like he might put that person’s health in front of his own, so I worry about his level of risk.”

For Jeff, the first days of the pandemic in the Boston area were tough because of all of the unknowns. “We didn’t know what tomorrow would look like, let alone after our lunch break,” remembered Jeff. “We had to protect ourselves with the assumption that any and every patient could have it.”

Jeff wears a special power air purifier respirator. “I strap a purifier to my back with two HEPA filters and wear a big helmet and hose around my head,” said Jeff. “For any patient coming in that we didn’t know if they were negative, I had to wear that.”

Jeff has been awed by the number of restaurants around the hospital showing up with food every day. “It’s cool to see how people are coming together in their communities,” said Jeff.

Julie and Jeff’s extended family was planning a big reunion that has now been postponed, but Julie isn’t worried about that. Her thoughts are with her nephew. “What I want to say to Jeff is ‘Stay safe. I love you.’”

About the author(s):

Dave Boerger is a part of the Verizon Corporate Communications team and a regular contributor to Up To Speed. He's a recovering marketer and sitcom writer.

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