Ascension Wisconsin nurses headed to Austin, TX to help COVID-19 surge

MILWAUKEE -- Having already dealt with Milwaukee's surge in COVID-19 cases at Ascension's Saint Joseph's Hospital...

Lisa Knigge

"I think we really wish that our skills weren't needed, that we didn't have to go anywhere, that this would all be over and we could all go back to our normal lives. Unfortunately, that's proving not to be the case."

Respiratory therapist Lisa Knigge is one of six Ascension Wisconsin employees headed south to Austin, Texas, this weekend to help with the rise in cases.

Austin, Texas crowds

The situation is so bad the state has closed bars and limited occupancy at restaurants.

To Colleen Henley, answering this call is why she became a nurse.

Colleen Henley

"From my perspective, when I worked so much in March and April to combat our pandemic if I would've had anybody that could've come and helped me at that point, I would've loved it," Henley said, an intensive care unit nurse.

The extra help means full-time employees there will be given the chance to catch their breath.

"I don't want to experience another pandemic, so I would rather just help out with the one we are having right now," Henley said.

Even if it means leaving behind her husband and three kids, Knigge says she's grateful for the opportunity to help out.

"It can be very mentally taxing and sort of mentally exhausting because you're going from a sick patient to a sick patient to a sick patient to a sick patient," Knigge said.

The entire 20-person team will fly out to Austin, Texas this Sunday. They'll be there for a two-week assignment.

Providing a little relief for those taking care of others.