Local nurses come out of retirement to help with COVID-19 outbreak

SEATTLE -- Carolyn Grant is 63 years old and has asthma symptoms, but when this retired nurse got the call to return to the front lines amid a global pandemic, she knew she had to step up.

She's one of at least a handful of nurses who have come out of retirement and returned to UW Medicine to help fight the outbreak of coronavirus. For Grant, that means helping to run the hospital's COVID-19 testing program.

She told The Seattle Times it took about six hours for her to come to a decision and had to consider that she's at a higher risk for COVID-19 complications because of her age. Her husband is 70 years old and a two-time prostate cancer survivor.

Older residents and people with compromised immune systems have been urged to stay home and avoid unnecessary public interaction.

"When you work somewhere 22 years, they are your family," Grant said. "So I felt like I wanted to come back and help them. I new they would be facing some very difficult times."

As for how long she'll stay? As long as she's healthy and needed, she says.

It's just one of the countless extraordinary acts of courage and compassion we're hearing about as health care workers sprint to save lives and protect themselves from contracting the potentially deadly disease.