For ICU nurse Caitlyn Obrock, the last year has been a blur. She's treated hundreds of COVID-19 patients at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis. But, she says, one patient stands above.
"From the very beginning Monique was special to me," Obrock said.
Monique Jones, 28, came to the hospital deathly ill from COVID-19 and six months pregnant. "The baby was priority over her," Obrock said of Jones. "She would do anything for her baby."
Jones was eventually intubated, but Obrock talked to her and prayed over her for countless hours. When doctors decided the only hope for mother and child was an emergency C-section, Obrock made a promise.
"I was like, if Monique makes it, we're going to throw her the biggest baby shower there is to have," Obrock said.
It was a promise she joyfully kept when Zamyrah arrived — all 2 pounds, 5 ounces of her. "I just started crying as soon as I saw everything, like this couldn't be for me," Jones said of the baby shower.
Obrock raised thousands from friends, family and coworkers.
And even though her favorite patients are now out of the hospital, Obrock still visits regularly. She has to — she's the godmother and Jones' new best friend.
"I never really felt that special to somebody. I really needed somebody like her," Jones said.
It's important, especially at the end of this God-awful week, to know that, while all that was going on, so was this. While chaos reigned in Washington, compassion ruled in this corner of the heartland and across the country. Because the soul of America can't be ransacked and the solution to what ails us sure as heck isn't under a dome.
"It's not a matter of politics, it's just a matter of loving people," Obrock said. "That's what we need. Days that I feel like I can't go anymore — through those hard days when I don't think my patient is going to make it — I just know there's another Monique that needs us."
And there's your battle cry, America, for a real uprising.