Birmingham-area nurses to serve on the health care frontlines in New York

Published: Apr. 19, 2020 at 8:16 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Because of the pandemic there was almost no foot traffic at The Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport Sunday, but an afternoon 12:15 flight carried some very special women from the Birmingham area to New York.

26-year-old Tameka Taylor, A Brookwood Baptist nurse and her friend 27-year-old Jontae Williams, who works at St. Vincent’s, felt it was their call to duty to go and assist patients in a city overwhelmed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

When Tameka told her mother she was going to New York, her mother’s reaction was like any caring family member.

Mom Valerie Taylor said, “I said girl why do you want to do that? You are crazy. No you are not going.”

But after much prayer and a word to her mother as to why she felt the need to go, Valerie felt better.

“She said, ‘Mom I prayed about it. This is my calling.’ She has always wanted to be a nurse,” said Valerie.

The work is exhausting and dangerous, but so far, at least 82,000 people have volunteered for New York state’s reserve force of medical workers.

Taylor and Williams will be part of that group which includes recent retirees returning to work, and health care professionals who can take a break from their regular jobs.

Tameka and Jontae will be in New York for a month. And although Tameka’s mother Valerie cried when she left, she says that she is very proud of her daughter.

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