Nurse Sails Hundreds Of Miles To Join Coronavirus Frontlines In NYC

May 19, 2020

When the coronavirus pandemic hit New York City, a nurse in Virginia knew she had to do something to help.

Rachel Hartley, 26, quit her job as a nurse in less hard hit Virginia and then jumped in her boat, sailing about 260 nautical miles from her home in Lynchburg up north to the Big Apple with her husband.

Now, for four 12 hour overnight shifts a week, she works as an ICU nurse at NYU Langone in Brooklyn.

The community hasn't only been grateful, but helpful, providing her food and allowing her to dock her boat at a Brooklyn Heights marina for free, saving the couple at least $10,000 a month.

Hartley and her husband have been living on the boat, appropriately named "Turning Point," since arriving in the city around Easter weekend.

"I'm leaving behind a comfortable life, so to say, to come here, but it's still worth it," she tells WCBS 880's Kristie Keleshian. "It's extremely rewarding and I know this is where I need to be."

"New Yorkers have such grit and determination and they're exhausted because they've been dealing with this since it began. These are just some of the most incredible people that I have ever met," Hartley said.

Although Hartley isn't sure how long she'll stay in New York, she said she might be contracted for another eight weeks.

While she answered the call to help New York City in its time of need, Hartley doesn't want to be considered a hero, but a servant.

"I'm coming from Virginia to help because that's what I need to do, that's what I have to do, not even realizing how grateful people would be. It's a really refreshing surprise," she tells WCBS 880's Kristie Keleshian.

Meanwhile, ONE15 Brooklyn Marina has launched a GoFundMe page to raise money for its restaurant to help feed frontline medical workers.

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