WESTON, W.Va. – Medical personnel from around the world have been working countless hours since the start of the pandemic. But, there’s one set of nurses and therapists that have been on the frontlines since day one taking care of patients.

“We assess and treat patients with acute and chronic problems with their cardiopulmonary system. We run ventilators, aerosols, EKGs. We do patient education. Pretty much anything to do with the heart and lungs, we help take care of,” said Donna Snider, Respiratory Therapist Supervisor at Mon Health Stonewall Jackosn Memorial Hospital.

Mon Health Stonewall Jackson Memorial Hospital in Weston

Snider and her team of nine respiratory therapists work out of Mon Health Stonewall Jackson Memorial Hospital.

One of her team members said it’s been a struggle handling the pandemic in such a small hospital.

“With the surge of patients, it’s been very hard to keep up. But, we manage as a team. We are able to take care of everybody with the best care that everyone deserves,” said Stephanie Smyth, a respiratory therapist on Snider’s team of therapists.

Stephanie Smyth (left) and Donna Snider (right)

The amount of patients isn’t the only issue.

“These patients that are coming in, not only are there more of them, but they’re more critically ill,” said Snider.

A sign outside of Mon Health Stonewall Jackson Memorial Hospital

Sometimes, the therapists can’t win. But, sometimes, they do, and it’s a feeling both Smyth and Snider love.

“It is so devestating every single patient that we lose. Like, I can’t tell you how disheartening that is. So, when we do have those wins, it is over-the-top joy for us,” said Snider.

For their work during the pandemic and in honor of National Respiratory Care Week, the respiratory therapists at Mon Health Stonewall Jackson Memorial Hospital are our healthcare heroes.