HENRICO COUNTY, VA — When times are tough, heroes emerge. We all know someone who's making a difference right now as we live through unprecedented times. Here at Patch, we've launched an initiative to help recognize these everyday heroes.
Linda Scruggs, a licensed practical nurse at the Canterbury Rehabilitation & Healthcare Center in Henrico County, is one of those heroes. She works the 10- to 12-hour day shift, Monday through Friday, taking care of residents who have tested positive for the coronavirus at the skilled nursing facility.
“God put me here for a reason,” Scruggs said in a statement. “I was born to be a nurse, and this is where I am needed right now, taking care of my residents. It’s a crisis, but we will get through it.”
Scruggs remains a calming force for the residents at Canterbury, one of the hardest hit facilities in the nation’s battle against the coronavirus pandemic.
“Every day our staff does all that we can to provide the very best care for residents and lift them up. We are a dedicated, loyal group at Canterbury. I am proud to work here,” said Scruggs, who has worked at Canterbury for about a year.
Last week, Canterbury reported the facility's 50th coronavirus-related death. Canterbury officials also noted that 51 patients at the Richmond area facility who previously tested positive for coronavirus have fully recovered, 8News reported. The facility is located about six miles northwest of the University of Richmond.
More than 100 residents and staff members at Canterbury have tested positive for the coronavirus. Canterbury is certified as a 190-bed facility. As of April 14, 109 residents lived at the facility. Of those 109 residents, 76 had tested positive for the coronavirus, 28 had tested negative and five had recovered, according to 8News.
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Scruggs, born and raised in Virginia, has 10 sisters and five surviving brothers, many of whom still live in Virginia. One of her brothers died a year ago. Her two sons and daughters-in-law live in the area with her four granddaughters, ages 11, nine, eight and five. Scruggs tries to connect with family regularly and FaceTime with her granddaughters as much as she can during the coronavirus crisis.
“My granddaughters are my heartbeat. I miss them more than anything and treasure the day I can hug them again,” Scruggs said. “But I’m not going anywhere. My residents need me during this crisis, and I am dedicated to taking care of them.”
When she goes to work, Scruggs and all care team members treating coronavirus-positive residents at Canterbury use a dedicated external entrance, with shower and foot/shoe cleaning stations. The employees are monitored daily for symptoms of the disease, and those with respiratory symptoms or fever are prohibited from entering the facility.
Scruggs has tested negative for the coronavirus, although she was out for 14 days recently recovering from influenza B.
“At this point I’m more fearful of people I come across outside of Canterbury,” said Scruggs. “Here, I know who has COVID-19 and who doesn’t, and we are taking every precaution we can to keep all of the residents and ourselves safe.”
National Nurses Day, celebrated Wednesday, is held annually on May 6 to raise awareness of the vital role nurses like Scruggs play in society. The day is also the first day of National Nurses Week.
The Richmond community has been extremely supportive of the front-line workers at Canterbury who are taking care of the residents. “We are so grateful for all of the donations of food, flowers and more,” Scruggs said.
The Canterbury center is coordinating an e-card campaign called the "The Write Touch" to lift the spirits of its residents. With visitations suspended and social distancing protocols strictly followed, Canterbury is working to help residents feel connected to the community during this extremely challenging time.
Anyone interested can make their own e-card or visit e-card websites like Punch Bowl and Blue Mountain, which both offer free trials. People can send their e-cards to residents at Canterbury by emailing them to: email@example.com.
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