Colorado grandmother spends Christmas 525 miles away treating COVID-19 patients


AURORA, Colo. (KDVR) — An Aurora, Colorado grandmother is spending Christmas 525 miles away from her family in order to help strangers battling COVID-19 in Salt Lake City.

“If it were my husband or my son or my daughter who was dying, I wouldn’t want them to be alone,” Diana Ames said. “It would just destroy me, so I hold phones so loved ones can talk or I hold hands or I give detailed reports to loved ones on the phone.”

Ames has been a registered nurse in Colorado for decades. After watching the impact of the first wave of COVID-19, she decided to sign up and serve as a travel nurse to help areas with the greatest needs.

“I was in Houston end of April, beginning of May and then North Carolina and then here,” Ames said. 

Currently the grandmother of 10 is working a Christmas shift in a hospital in Salt Lake City. 

“I have been here almost five weeks and just recently just found out when I got here that one of the infectious disease doctors I worked with in Houston died from COVID,” she said.

Ames describes her journey serving as a travel nurse as sad, scary.

“I think my first few day’s assignments we pulled maybe eight codes, and out of those we brought back three and two of those died within 24 hours, it’s a scary illness,” Ames said.

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“Now I’m seeing patients that are younger. I’m taking care of a 17-year-old that’s on oxygen. I’m taking care of parents with young children that are in the hospital.” 

While she wants to be home with her family, Ames plans to stay until she isn’t needed anymore. She’s asking loved ones to take the virus serious this holiday season.

“You can’t Zoom somebody in heaven, you can’t Zoom them when you’re gone, you can’t buy them a present so be home and be safe and this will end,” she said. “I promise this will end but we have to all do our part.”

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