CARMICHAEL (CBS13) – It was a hero’s welcome at Sacramento International Airport on Sunday for a local doctor arriving home from assisting on the coronavirus frontlines in New York City.
Anticipation was building as doctors and nurses at Mercy San Juan Medical Center all waited for Doctor Nathan Beckerman.
“Definitely wasn’t expecting that,” Beckerman said.
“He deserves this so much,” said Susan Browning, a registered nurse. “He’s one of our favorite doctors.”
Beckerman is one of the California doctors who were sent to New York City to help physicians and hospitals in the coronavirus hotspot.
Some anxiety did creep into the doctor’s mind before heading to the concrete jungle.
“I used all of the appropriate PPE while I was there, and my wife and I are relatively young and relatively healthy people,” he said. “So you know we did our own personal-risk assessment and felt that it was the right thing to do.”
The good doctor tells CBS13 that the group of California doctors was seeing a lot more coronavirus cases and those who were much sicker in New York than in our area. Beckerman said he was there to help but also to learn from others who took the doctor’s oath in the COVID-19 hotspot.
“That was one of the reasons, was to help provide relief to the docs who have been working so hard in New York City. But also to learn from them,” Beckerman said. “So that should ramp things up here in Sacramento. We know a little bit more about how to cope with this virus.”
Beckerman says that he was impressed that the emergency room surge had passed and with how the hospital adjusted operations to help medical staff – something his colleagues are eager to hear about.
“The minute we can we’re going to talk to him about every little detail, everything that’s going on,” Browning said.
Dr. Beckerman said he is just glad to be back home and at his home hospital.
“I went and did what…a lot of my colleagues would do if they had the opportunity,” he said.
These aren’t the only people stepping up to the plate to help medical professionals in New York City.
Denise and Jim Wilson also arrived in New York City with a handful of their colleagues from their 10-33 Foundation out of Solano County to help doctors there deal with stress management of treating COVID-19 patients.
“Sometimes we just ask them some pointed questions based on what they say to help them, then redirect what they’re thinking,” Denise Wilson said.
The pair has been an emotional lifeline for more than 4,000 traveling nurses in the coronavirus hotspot.
“We know it doesn’t end when they leave. They’re going to take what they saw and what they experienced, and they’re going to carry that home,” Jim Wilson said. “And if we don’t take care of them, we’re going to have a huge fallout in the medical professions.”
They’re the Sacramento healthcare providers on the frontlines of the coronavirus attack on New York City.
For Beckerman, it’s a chance to help those who need it most in a time of crisis. He hasn’t ruled out a return.
“If there’s another wave and they need help, I would expect more groups to go without hesitation. I’d go back,” Beckerman said.