The daughter of a nurse and medic has been sent away indefinitely in a heartbreaking decision by her parents to ensure they would not infect her with coronavirus contracted while in the line of duty.
Devon Oechsle, who works in the emergency department, and husband Jason, a firefighter and medic, sent their three-year-old Ellie off to live with a family friend – and don’t know when they’ll see her again.
The sacrifice is one being made by thousands of others working on the front line in the battle against the COVID-19 pandemic, with Ms Oechsle writing on Facebook many of her colleagues were in the same boat.
“Our jobs are important right now and unlike many, we are still required to work. And that work carries a high risk of being infected, or spreading this damn virus,” she wrote in the post on April 1.
“I have already been in contact with COVID-19 patients, and the last thing we want to do is have Ellie surrounded by the potential virus we could carry home.”
Ms Oechsle, who lives in Bryan in the US state of Texas, detailed the anguish involved with now not having her daughter living under the same roof as them.
“I won't get to visit her. I won't get to hug her. I won't get to tuck her in at night. We have FaceTime, and that's it. For up to a month, or who knows how long,” she wrote.
The mum urged people left with no choice but to stay home all day with their kids to “consider it a blessing and absolutely nothing less”.
“And for heaven's sake, everyone, stay at home. The sooner this crap is over the quicker my kid can come home,” she said.
Ms Oechsle shared a selfie showing her tear-stained face to illustrate the painstaking decision she and Jason made so they could continue to serve their community.
“This is the face of someone who feels punished for trying to be the ‘good guy’,” she wrote.
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