NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — First responders and essential workers have been putting their lives on the line during the coronavirus pandemic.
But now, some of them are getting recognition.
On Thursday, CBS2’s Hazel Sanchez met up with a nurse from Staten Island who is being recognized worldwide.
Amy O’Sullivan is a married, skateboarding, doting mother of three. And, oh yeah, she has just been named by Time magazine as one of the Top 100 influential people of 2020.
She even has her own cover.
When asked what she sees when she looks at it, O’Sullivan said told Sanchez, “Oh, I’m super cool.”
That, she is … an emergency room nurse, sporting her scrubs and fun socks.
But she’s no joke. She’s a true warrior on the front lines who days after caring for the first COVID-19 patient at Wycoff Heights Medical Center in Brooklyn became infected, herself.
“After that patient, it was a war zone,” O’Sullivan said.
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O’Sullivan was intubated for three days and went home to recover for less than three weeks, before going back to work.
“I felt like it was a calling, and I just had to go. I couldn’t leave my co-workers. I couldn’t do that to them,” O’Sullivan said.
Saving lives at Wycoff has been a labor of love for O’Sullivan for nearly 19 years. She was surrounded by her family when Time called saying she was named an icon for all nurses who’ve been selflessly putting their own lives on the line through the coronavirus pandemic.
“When I got the call, I couldn’t believe it. I was touched and honored,” she said. “I hope that photograph shows the strength of the nurses.”
She joins a list that includes world leaders and celebrities. Her proud family said it’s a well-deserved honor.
“She’s like there to help me with stuff,” one said.
“I learned so much from her. She has just been like always someone I look up to,” another added.
“She is a wonderful nurse. She’s the nurse that everyone wants to have. Amy has your back,” Tiffany Latz said.
And O’Sullivan hopes to inspire others to share her positive spirit.
“Be yourself and be true, and be good,” she said.
And perhaps you, too, can glide through life with support and love.
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