WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — The influx of COVID-19 patients has put a major strain on hospitals throughout Florida.
But what about people who need to go to the emergency room who don't have the virus?
A woman in West Palm Beach has a first-hand account of the situation and making a plea to the public.
For more than a year, Jackie Robinson has been battling cancer.
Robinson said because of the pandemic and elective surgeries at hospitals being canceled last spring, timing has not been on her side.
"As a result when I finally got to the hospital, I had 22 lymph nodes removed that were golf ball-sized full of melanoma cancer, which took me from stage one to stage four," Robinson said.
The 51-year-old patient has been undergoing chemotherapy, but last week she had a bad reaction, forcing her to go to Jupiter Medical Center.
"It's not reality until you actually experience it yourself," Robinson said.
She said the emergency room was chaos with the doctors and nurses overwhelmed.
"I walked in there and I literally saw people carrying in COVID patients that were whaling and screaming in pain and agony," Robinson said.
She wasn't able to get a bed right away.
Doctors said the majority of COVID-19 patients who are being admitted to the hospital are unvaccinated. But there is hope after the FDA gave full approval Monday to Pfizer's Covid-19 vaccine.
"I'm hoping that some of those people that are not yet vaccinated that they will step forward in the next week or two and start getting the vaccine," said Dr. Olayemi Osiyemi, infectious disease specialist.
Robinson said COVID's impact caused her cancer to spread, but her recent visit in the emergency room made her fully understand the stress and emotional toll that health care workers are facing each day.
She is now making a plea to the public.
"Please go get your vaccine. Help our doctors. They're tired and then think about the impact you're having on others," Robinson said.
Her prognosis is not good, but she remains optimistic with a positive attitude.
Robinson said she is thankful for all of the doctors and nurses helping her and so many others.