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"We didn't know where to start"; Safe2Save app honoring Waco nurse and other coronavirus frontline heroes

Safe2Save is an app dedicated to keeping people safe from distracted driving, and now they are honoring the heroes battling the frontlines of this pandemic.

BRYAN, Texas — The driving and no texting app Safe2Save wants to honor those fighting on the frontlines during this pandemic and share their stories with the world. 

As a nurse and as a parent, your life is dedicated to being a caregiver. But what happens when you have to choose between staying with your family and going where you are needed?

When FEMA’s disaster staffing medical agency called for help from healthcare workers across the nation, Melissa Donoso packed her bags and flew to New York.

“It’s always something that’s been in my heart to help people and I knew there was a huge crisis starting and I just wanted to help people and that’s something that I try to instill in my children, is that it’s always best to help someone," said Waco nurse practitioner/paramedic Melissa Donoso.

Leaving behind her husband and seven children in Waco, she spent twenty-eight days in New York hospitals treating COVID-19 patients.

“It was very intense. In the beginning it was very overwhelming. Going into a hospital there were just so many patients, we didn’t know where to start almost, because there was a two and half day wait to get into the ER. Patients were lined up outside, and the ER was just so full, you couldn’t even walk through, never seen anything like that," said Donoso.

When she got back, Donoso had to quarantine for 14 more days, which she said was super hard on her children because they couldn't hug her after being gone for so long.

Despite the risks of this virus and the time away from home, Donoso says she was trained for a situation like this, to help others in a time and place where resources are extremely scarce.

“My children were worried. They were kind of scared about mom going, it’s something I’ve been trained for, like a paramedic with disaster situations, and also as a nurse practitioner, working as a nurse for years, you learn how to protect yourself, put on the equipment properly, and you just use good hygiene techniques, stay safe," said Donoso.

Donoso is back home now with her family and her daughter nominated her as a hero on the Safe2Save app. This "unmasking our heroes" campaign just started and will continue on throughout the summer. If you want to nominate someone, you can go on the app and do so and submit a story about your hero as well.

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