JERSEY CITY, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Every day, while businesses beg to reopen and people itch to return to a life of normalcy, front line health care workers are heading to hospitals with the sole intent of saving lives.

“You just do all you can to then help that patient survive the 12 hours you are there with them,” ER nurse Maxim Cases told CBS2’s Jessica Layton. “The suffering that we are still seeing, it’s not bearable for any of us.”

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We first met Cases in early April at a time Christ Hospital in Jersey City was getting slammed with COVID-19 patients at every hour.

Now? The influx is changing.

“The volume has decreased significantly,” Cases said. “Although, the patients that we do get are very sick.”

That means the ICU is still packed, leading to overflow and days-long stays in the ER.

“The people in the emergency room have been waiting over 200 hours … waiting for a bed,” Cases said.


The goal with every new patient — do everything possible to keep them off a ventilator.

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Unfortunately, everyone in the ICU right now is on one and many have been for at least two weeks.

“We are looking to see any glimmer of hope in things that we do,” Cases said.

Generosity has given them hope. She says people have been donating the PPE that they were so desperately lacking in the beginning. But there’s always a need.

“We were just notified the other day that we are now low again on N95s,” Cases said.

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Nearly two months into the crisis, she says a lot of the nurses who were out sick are back to work. They’ve also received a team of travel nurses at Christ Hospital who are helping to lessen that overwhelming workload.

t’s giving Cases back priceless moments, like a walk outside with her 1-year-old daughter. She’ll even be home for Mother’s Day.

“I would love to have the majority of the day with just my little family,” Cases said.

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So be smart and keep social distancing. Not just for yourself, but for people like Cases and her co-workers, who are dedicating themselves to making a difference on National Nurses’ Day and every day.