Caring on the Front Lines of COVID-19

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Three BJU Bruins serving in health care during COVID-19 crisis

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has spread across the globe. To date, there have been over 693,000 reported cases worldwide with over 33,000 deaths as a result of the disease. In the United States alone, over 140,000 cases have been confirmed with over 2,400 deaths reported.

While quarantine measures have been enacted to help stop the spread, there are those who are facing the pandemic head on. Medical professionals have been on the front lines of treating those infected with the virus, often exposing themselves at the risk of helping others.

Across the country, several former Bruins student-athletes are among those who are seeking to help during this time of crisis. Matt Moore works as an emergency department nurse at Spartanburg Regional Hospital in Spartanburg, South Carolina. He is the all-time leading goal-scorer for the men’s soccer program with 33 career goals. He played three seasons with the Bruins and graduated in 2016. Moore has been in the emergency room of the hospital, often being among the first medical professionals to see potential coronavirus patients.

“This virus has affected my mind and attitude going into work every day now,” Moore said. “Our ER staff is wearing masks in every room which, for 12 hours, can be uncomfortable. We all feel more pressure than normal which is weird to say because every day we deal with cardiac arrests, traumas and other life-threatening illnesses. This has also affected my personal life in the sense that I also don’t feel safe visiting family or friends because I don’t want to pass something onto them from the hospital.”

Tori Anderson graduated from BJU in 2015 and serves as an ICU nurse. She has often been called in to help with COVID-19 cases and isolation areas of the hospital. This often involves wearing extra protective equipment while helping to test, diagnose and treat patients.

“It’s important to stay positive and remember that this will eventually pass,” Anderson said. “Just because we don’t know when it will end does not mean that it’s permanent. Our communities, healthcare system and nation as a whole have already learned so much from this crisis and will hopefully come out of it stronger and better equipped for the future.”

Anderson played goalkeeper for the Bruins women’s soccer team for three seasons and still holds the lowest goals against career average (0.50) while helping lead the women’s soccer team to two NCCAA DII National Championships in her career.

Marvell Lareche was one of the first All-Americans for the men’s soccer program and helped lead the team to their first NCCAA DII National Championship in the 2016 season. Lareche now serves as a surgical ICU nurse for Prisma Health in Greenville, South Carolina. His job has changed drastically in recent weeks with many patient elective surgeries being postponed. Lareche has also been involved in caring for the sick in different sections of the hospital.

“I have seen a new sense of unity and teamwork in the hospital as a whole,” Lareche said. “All nurses whether floor nurses, ICU, ER or any other specialties have all come together to care for these infected patients and to ultimately find a cure for this virus.”

Through each shift, these three Bruins and thousands of medical professionals across the globe work tirelessly to care for those infected with the virus. While there is uncertainty across the globe as to when COVID-19 will begin to slow down, there is a reason for hope in the uncertainty.

“God is good all the time, and right now I am especially grateful for a God who never changes,” Anderson said. “While I don’t feel immune to concern or worry, I rest assured knowing that He is an anchor for the Christian’s soul. God is still sovereign, and God is still love.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the world on a global scale. Yet despite the concerns for their own well-being, medical professionals continue to serve on the front lines in caring for those in need. For these three Bruins, their desire to help is rooted in the care and compassion they have for their patients and in serving God even in the midst of a crisis.

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