New Orleans ICU nurse in quarantine with COVID-19 shares Gospel hope

KENNER, La. (BP) -- Lexie Green was still a few months shy of her two-year anniversary as a nurse at Ochsner Medical Center in Kenner, La., just outside of New Orleans, when she found herself serving in the intensive care unit in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Alexa "Lexie" Green became a nurse at Ochsner Medical Center in Kenner, La., after graduating from the University of North Alabama in 2018. Green's care for COVID-19 patients led to her contracting the disease herself.
Photo submitted by Lexie Green
A few weeks into the crisis, which has struck the New Orleans area particularly hard, Green started feeling ill herself. When she discovered she was running a fever, her supervisor sent her home. She later tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

"I think it's the sickest I've ever been in my life," Green said by phone from her rental home, where she continues to recover.

The weeks leading up to her diagnosis had been some of the most trying of her life, and to help her deal with the anxiety and stress, Green, whose full first name is Alexa, began making a video diary.

"I originally made the videos to help me cope with everything," Green said. "Every time I talked to my family, I didn't want to burden them with the things I was seeing. So, I just started recording myself talking and praying and talking to God."

Green had seen some patients with other illnesses die without family nearby due to the COVID-19 restrictions. Then, her first patient passed away from the coronavirus. Through it all, she kept up her video diary, even after she learned that she had contracted the disease.

In quarantine, Green found a Gospel opportunity.

"When I got sick, it was the first time I had seen everything on social media," she said. "There was so much negativity, but I wanted to share some of my story and share hope."

She pieced together some of the videos and posted them to Facebook. The timeline began when she first began grappling with the trials she and her coworkers were enduring and continued until she was quarantined with symptoms of COVID-19. She ended the video with an invitation for viewers to reach out if they wanted to know more about the peace and hope that comes with a relationship with God.

"I have been completely overwhelmed by the response, in a good way." Green said. "I never expected it to touch so many people, which I think is the Lord working. I've had several people, even people I don't even know, message me to say that they had either been struggling in their faith or were having a very difficult time. They said the video encouraged them to seek out God and reminded them of His faithfulness and His love for them."

Some of her coworkers have started asking her deep, theological questions as well about what God could possibly be doing in the middle of the pandemic. Green has made herself available to talk, listen and pray when her coworkers complete their shifts.

Having this sort of impact, being able to serve and help people, is precisely what Green envisioned when she selected nursing as her vocation.

"I feel like one of the gifts the Lord has given me is the gift of mercy. I have a heart for people who are suffering physically, emotionally and spiritually," Green said. "I have always been interested in the medical field, and nursing is such a caring profession. It was an opportunity to use my gift of mercy to practically share the love of Christ."

After growing up in rural north Alabama and entering the University of North Alabama's (UNA) nursing program, Green's dream was to work at a hospital in nearby Huntsville. But a mission trip to New Orleans with UNA's Baptist Collegiate Ministry (BCM) altered that trajectory.

"It was spring break of 2017," Green recalled. "Immediately when I got back from that trip, I thought, 'I have to go back to New Orleans. If there is any way for me to go back, I am going to go.'"

So, that summer she wound up on a GenSend summer mission team through the North American Mission Board (NAMB). There had been one more opening on the team going to New Orleans to spend two months living and serving in the city.

"It was one of the most life-changing experiences I ever had," Green said. "My relationship with God grew exponentially, and I got a great sense of what it's like to live on mission."

The next March, during her senior year in college, she visited New Orleans again with the BCM. She already had a sense that she would end up in New Orleans again, eventually, but encounters with NAMB missionaries led her to spend more time in prayer that week.

Green applied for the job at Ochsner Medical Center while there, but before hearing back from the hospital, she received an offer for her dream job in Huntsville, Ala.

"Without knowing anything about my other job, I turned it down because I felt like I needed to be in New Orleans," she said.

Now, she has seen that dream play out under extremely trying circumstances, but she says she cannot wait to get back to work.

"Knowing that somehow, in everything that's going on, I was able to make a difference in people's lives, that's what's drawing me back to the hospital." Green said. "That's what kept me going -- knowing that I was able to love on and minister to people as a nurse."

Watch Green's video diary here: https://www.facebook.com/alexa.k.green/videos/10215267634198930/

Brandon Elrod writes for the North American Mission Board.
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