ATLANTIS, Fla. — A nurse at JFK Medical Center gave a unique, inside look at the ups and downs that medical staff experienced this year helping save lives during the coronavirus pandemic.
Traveling thousands of miles from Florida, John Paul Rosario proudly shared his vacation pictures from Egypt from the beginning of the year.
"It was my girlfriend's birthday, 30th birthday, so we went there, but by the time we got back, everything was closed, and everything was in full swing," Rosario said.
PHOTO GALLERY: Click here to look at more of JP's photos
Little did he know, the pictures capturing the next part of his life would be emotional.
J.P., as his friends call him, is a COVID-19 ICU nurse at JFK Medical Center who works around the clock with patients who have the coronavirus.
He also started taking pictures of what happens behind the COVID-19 doors as patients fight for their lives.
J.P. said he often looks at a picture that shows the COVID-19 team rushing in to help a patient on a ventilator.
"Everyone would put on their PPE, run in, do what we could to save the patient. To me, those were the most powerful. You can see the care in the nurse's face, how we touch them, how we talk to them, even if they're on a ventilator," Rosario said.
There's a story behind every picture.
One shows staff caring for patients as if caring for a loved one.
"It's been rough, seeing all of these sick people coming in. We do what we can, but the biggest thing is visitors can't see their loved ones, but we do try to do Facebook messaging or FaceTime," he said.
J.P. captured more than 500 touching moments. Among them is medical staff holding a sign that says, "Hope is greater than COVID-19."
"Just the hope that they will make it even two weeks, three weeks later they are still on the machine, sometimes they don't make it. Every time I take care of a patient, I see my family member. It's someone's loved one," Rosario said.
His photos also stand out. They include staff taking a few minutes to support each other, employees sitting eating cake. It's a special occasion, though it only lasts for a few minutes.
"Even though we have to be so strong and rigid here, we are still human. There were a few birthdays. There are a few celebrations. Even a church came by and brought some stuff. I remember Christ Fellowship dropped off a coffee machine and pastries and stuff and little stuff like that to break up the monotony of the darkness that we were experiencing," he said.
However, J.P. said he limits his time with his family to avoid possibly exposed them to the virus but gladly works on the front lines.
"Use your support system, talk to someone, find outlets to exercise to get that adrenaline up. We are here as a team," he said. "We are [inspired] by what everyone does here at JFK."