Nurse supports her own grandfather through COVID-19 treatment

KIRKLAND, Wash. -- In October, Sarah Chapin had her dream come true. She started working as a nurse at EvergreenHealth.

“So rewarding; I leave work every single day so thankful,” she said.

The job is something she wanted to do ever since she was young. It also gives her the opportunity to be closer to her grandparents.

“Family is everything for me,” she said.

Chapin says her grandfather is one of the most important people in her life. Growing up hours away from him, she didn’t get to see him often. Now, working and living in King County, she is able to see him as much as possible between handling her new nightshift-nurse life.

“As a new nurse, you definitely feel like you’re just treading above water,” she said.

The job was already a challenge, then COVID-19 hit. Chapin says that added so many new questions, emotions and uncertainties, but it also added one thing she could have never expected.

“It was the worst feeling. It was just a pit in my stomach,’ said Chapin.

In her hospital, on her floor, her grandfather was admitted after testing positive with the coronavirus.

“I’ve seen the worst of it, and I’ve seen people go home, but my grandfather is 89 years old,” she said.

For two weeks, Chapin dealt with more than just her own uncertainty.

“I got a couple calls from family members that said, 'Sarah, is he going to make it?'"

She says that was the hardest thing, because she didn’t know the answer.

“That’s the last place I want for him to be there for the rest of his life.”

That was a real possibility, one she struggled to comprehend for two weeks, until her grandfather was released from the hospital.

“It was a relief to know we were getting him out of here, and getting him home,” she said.

Sarah’s grandfather, Tony Schock, says having his granddaughter there helped him get through this difficult time.

“It gave me a good anchor with home, to have Sarah be able to come in and hold my hand a couple times” he said.

Chapin knows how hard this experience was for herself and her entire family. She wants anyone who sees her story to know she and every nurse will fight for their patients just like it’s their family.