By Hazel Sanchez

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — They’ve emerged as heroes of the pandemic — first responders, doctors and scientists who have worked hard to save lives.

Toy maker Mattel is honoring these COVID-19 heroes with a special line of Barbie dolls that includes one designed for a nurse from Staten Island, CBS2’s Hazel Sanchez reported Wednesday.

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The pandemic created many things and among the few positive ones, friendship and heroes, like Amy O’Sullivan, an emergency room nurse at Wycoff Heights Medical Center in Brooklyn.

She treated New York City’s first known COVID patient and returned to work even after she nearly died from coronavirus.

“It has been a struggle,” O’Sullivan said.


CBS2 met with her in September when Time magazine named O’Sullivan one of the 100 influential people of 2020.

She has since gone from cover girl to Barbie girl. She and her family say its surreal.

“My mom, like a Barbie doll, like no way!” one daughter said.

“I’m so proud, so proud,” another daughter said.

“I couldn’t believe it. I still can’t believe it. I just feel so honored,” O’Sullivan said.

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Working off photos, artists meticulously hand stitched and painted the one-of-kind Nurse Amy O’Sullivan Barbie to the finest detail, including her tattoos. The anchor and surfboard on her forearms are duplicated on her Barbie. Even the hyacinth on her neck is there, and they didn’t forget her bracelets, flower socks, and flamingo scarf.

“So, are you pleased with it?” Sanchez asked.

“Oh my goodness, beyond,” O’Sullivan said.

The doll is one of six Mattel designed in the likeness of real-life COVID heroes from around the world, including a coronavirus researcher from Brazil and a professor from the United Kingdom who helped develop the COVID vaccine.

O’Sullivan said she is hoping her doll will inspire children the way she says no doll did when she was young.

“It’s OK to be different and look different and sound different and dress different, and you can be somebody special,” she said.

It’s so special, her 6-year-old daughter already has plans.

“I think I’m gonna steal it,” she said.

The way nurse Amy’s selflessness has captured so many hearts.

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O’Sullivan’s doll is, indeed, one of a kind, but for every Barbie doctor, nurse or pandemic doll sold at Target, Mattel says it will donate $5 to the First Responders Children’s Foundation.