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Traveling nurse staying in donated RV to safeguard family amid COVID-19 pandemic

Good News with 13

CLAYTON, N.C. (WNCN) — A Johnston County nurse who treats patients with COVID-19 says a stranger’s generosity is giving her peace in the middle of this pandemic. 

For nearly a week, Danielle Saldana has lived in an RV in her front yard. “It’s moved me to tears quite a few times knowing that I can be here,” she said.  

She’s is a traveling ICU nurse who treats some of the most seriously ill coronavirus patients at a hospital in Northern Virginia.

Normally, she cherishes her time at home in Clayton with her two daughters, but after treating COVID-19 patients in intensive care, staying in her own house-made her nervous.

“I hated being there, not because I hate being with them, but because I was just afraid of what I might give them,” she explained.

Last week, she said she started running a slight fever, getting short of breath, and feeling a burning sensation in her chest.

She didn’t want to put her family at risk, so she responded to a post on a Facebook Group called “RVs for MDs to Fight the Corona Virus.” 

It’s a page for RV owners to lend their campers to healthcare workers who need a place to stay without exposing their families. A spokesperson for the group says at least 650 healthcare workers have been matched with RVs across the country.

“It took me less than an hour on the group to find a match,” recalled Saldana. “By the next day the man was here setting it up for me. I didn’t have to do anything; my family didn’t have to do anything. He just showed up with it.” 

She described him as, “An absolute angel.” 

The RV provides more than a place to stay, it takes away some of her worries. “Work is stressful; being out in the community is stressful; being home is stressful. There’s no place that’s not stressful right now for a healthcare worker,” said Saldana, adding, “Being able to get just that one piece lifted off of me has been a huge blessing.”

She calls it a blessing not just for her, but for her family. “They’re a little worried about me being sick,” she said, “But they know that I’m safe and I’m still able to see them every day, even if it’s through a window.”

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