South Florida native Jennifer Puckett had clear dreams growing up.
“I always wanted to be a nurse,” she said.
You could even say nursing is in her blood.
Puckett explained, ”I grew up with Good Sam like when my mom worked there I was a kid going to work with her on the weekends.”
Puckett is now a critical care certified registered nurse of eight years specializing in pediatric and neonatal ICU cases.
She regularly travels the country as a crisis response nurse, most recently to treat COVID-19 patients in Houston.
“I have a special set of skills and if I have this special set of skills I need to do something with it I can’t just standby and watch everybody,” Puckett said.
She got home just over a week ago and it didn’t take long for her to notice her services, and others like her, were needed on the other side of the globe in India to help a population overrun by the coronavirus.
“Seeing these doctors overseas crying,” Puckett says, was enough catch her attention, “because they’re like kids shouldn’t be doing this they shouldn’t be losing their lives.”
She and more than 40 other first responders across the country have been in talks with the Indian Parliament securing clearance to fly in and administer care and relief with the newly formed non-profit organization, “American Nurses on a Mission.”
“My biggest thing is I want to help somebody if we can go over there and we save 15 people that might not have gotten that, that’s 15 more people that beat this and I’m hoping that’s what’s gonna happen that we can save as many people as possible,” Puckett said.
Those closer to home who can’t be boots on the ground like “Clinics Can Help” CEO Owen O’Neill, are sending help in different ways. Seeing people in India struggling to simply breathe was enough for him to organize a delivery of respiratory supplies to send over.
O’Neill said after seeing the severity of pandemic in India, he knew had to help. “The amount of loss of life I don’t know how to describe it heartbreaking devastating it’s beyond that you just want to help any way you can,” he said.
Precious supplies for those whose life depends on it. If all goes well Puckett and her team hope to head to India the first week of June. For her and those on the front line hoping to save lives it’s the right place at the right time.
The way Puckett puts it, “There’s a reason we are put here there’s a reason we’re doing whatever we do and every time there’s a door that opens there’s a reason that that’s opening.”
An open door and a call to serve.