Advertisement

Meet ProMedica’s frontline heroes who helped light 2020 Christmas tree downtown

Despite the hardships and health risks, doctors, nurses and other healthcare providers continue to do their jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Published: Nov. 20, 2020 at 8:52 PM EST
Email this link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - This year special guests helped 13abc flip the switch to light up the tree in Promenade Park to kick off the 10th annual Hope for the Holidays toy drive.

Despite the hardships and health risks, doctors, nurses and other healthcare providers continue to do their jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic. To thank and celebrate all of the people who are caring for the sick, three of our community’s frontline heroes joined us to light the tree.

“I’ve been in the Covid ICU for seven months,” said Paige Augustine, who stepped up and volunteered to be a charge nurse in ProMedica’s first Covid ICU to help patients fighting for their lives.

She is one of three frontline heroes chosen by ProMedica to help light the Christmas tree downtown in Promenade Park.

“It has been a very long year,” Augustine said. “A lot has changed. Flipping the switch, to me and my family, I see something positive in it. The holidays are coming. Something where people are going to be uplifted. The spirit, remember why, what the Christmas tree means. And remembering the whole meaning of all of this.”

“I think it’s a time to reflect on what 2020 was and to look forward to what 2021 may bring,” Kathy Kalita said.

When Bay Park became the designated Covid-19 hospital, Kalita led her department through the crisis.

“I did continually work with leaders behind the scenes to make sure we had adequate supplies, equipment, and resources available for our staff to safely take care of patients,” Kalita said.

“I think it has put us in a spot to come together and work for the greater good,” said Ryan Martinez, a registered nurse in the ICU at Bay Park Hospital.

Martinez says this year he is most thankful for his health and his family.

“Obviously, we see what we’re dealing with firsthand on a daily basis,” Martinez said. “I couldn’t be more blessed having my family right here with me.”

These three frontline heroes are proud to represent all of their hospital coworkers at the tree lighting.

“It truly is unbelievable,” Augustine said. “This was a total shock. I am so honored to be considered an honoree.”

“I think it maybe gives us a little bit of hope that change is coming,” Martinez said. “That we’re dealing with this, we’re making progress and we’re seeing better outcomes. And hopefully, that light at the end of the tunnel starts to get a little bit brighter.”

Copyright 2020 WTVG. All rights reserved.