Protecting Our Healthcare Heroes

Posted by: 
Lara Govendo

For those of us with chronic illnesses such as cystic fibrosis, our experiences with healthcare providers are different than the typical professional relationship. Inpatient for weeks at a time, sometimes months; the hospital becomes a second home. Various staff sit with us in our pain, wipe our tears (or our butts), and bring laughter to our chaotic situations. These people are our family.

Finding adequate words to describe how much they mean to us is impossible. Nurses, respiratory therapists, doctors, cafeteria staff, environmental services and more… There’s a broad spectrum of people that make up our care teams. 

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Attending pulmonary clinic weekly, multiple trips to the pharmacy always, or wandering the halls of a bustling hospital; we see familiar faces in every form. All are knitted together in the tapestry of our individual worlds. Each one plays an important role in our wellbeing. This is how we survive tough times that happen all the time to us.

Before my double lung transplant, I spent weeks on end at the hospital. Advised to come in for at least a two week stint, it was always a cycle of processing emotions. Anger at my health’s uncontrollable decline, grief over halting my life abruptly, and sadness over sickness hitting me again… finishing with acceptance of what is, surrendering to another hospital visit.

Upon entering my usual floor, I was met with greetings of “I’m sorry you’re here, but I’m so glad to see you.” As I checked in at the nurse’s station, staff would simply look into my tear-brimmed eyes, hearing the unspoken words without me uttering a sound. 

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Hugging me until the flood gates of tears let loose, allowing me to feel the feelings without trying to fix an impossible situation. Entering my room that was set up exactly how I liked it because they pay attention to the details, right down to how many pillows I like. Just a quick snapshot into typical cherished interactions.

We are privy to intimate details of their lives, as they are to ours. These people see us at our most vulnerable times, having the capacity to treat us with love; bringing light to our darkest hours. We wouldn’t be who we are without their inner strengths, smiles, and skills. A blessing to our lives is an understatement.

The public eye doesn’t have the privilege of witnessing this level of love. Unconditional in its acts of service, there’s so much more that these people do behind the scenes that others never hear about. It’s just what they do. Every. Single. Day.

Currently, as they are on the frontlines of the battlefield fighting covid-19, it brings about unsettling emotions. As I see my family and friends in direct contact with this monster on the daily, my heart is shattered in pieces. It’s humbling what these people are sacrificing for us.

The hazardous requirements of their jobs are well hidden from the public eye as well. Sacrifice, according to Webster means: The act of giving up something that you want to keep especially in order to help someone. 

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Knowing the risk of probable contraction of the coronavirus, they selflessly enter a war zone when they go to work. They are the ones that are keeping everyone’s loved ones alive. They are the ones advocating on behalf of those suffering. They are the ones that have to wear bravery in the face of fear. They are the ones that are most at risk. These people are endangering their lives 24/7, some making difficult decisions to live separately from their families so they don’t bring this home to them. Or they are taking extraordinary measures to protect others from getting hit with this virus. 

Many of which we know nothing about.

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My sister and brother-in-law are on the front lines, busting their tails every day to ensure people have their life-saving medications. My best friends are respiratory therapists and nurses. I don’t know when the next time will be that I can hug them. Go on an adventure. Or share a meal together.

This is a reality for so many of us that others are taking for granted. For the ones that are most vulnerable and fragile, we have no choice but to self isolate. 

Everything comes with a price. My prayer is for those who don’t understand the magnitude of this situation to open their eyes to living outside of their own. Asking others to stay home is a simple request in comparison to those risking their lives to save ours.

It’s our turn to protect our healthcare providers. Allow them to do what they’re experts at: providing care. Our job is to stay home, get out of their way, and keep each other safe from the coronavirus.

Thank you to all of those that are on the frontlines. Our love and gratitude run deep for each and every one of you.


   Help Others Live STRONGER and LONGER-


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Lara is 33 years young and resides in Vermont. She has Cystic Fibrosis and received a double lung transplant in August 2017. A beacon of light for the existence of miracles; Lara enjoys adventures, nature, and belly laughs with her loves. She believes Jesus walks and pants are the devil. Passionate about spreading encouragement, she always lends an ear to those in need.
Follow Lara’s blog on her website: or connect with her on Facebook & Instagram: Lungs4Lovey.







***Views expressed in the CFLF Blog are those of the bloggers themselves and not necessarily of the Cystic Fibrosis Lifestyle Foundation*** 


***Please speak with your physician before making any changes to your CF management***


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