North Dakota traveling CNA hospitalized with COVID-19 on mission

Published: Nov. 24, 2020 at 3:24 PM CST
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MANDAN, N.D. (KFYR) - In the midst of a national health care crisis, one Mandan CNA put his life on the line when he was sent to the state of Washington on a traveling CNA contract.

Tyler Fisher flew to Seattle, Washington, on Dec. 28.

After working for nearly four months at a long-term care facility, Fisher came down with what he thought was a normal cold.

Days later, he was rushed to an emergency room and spent nearly two weeks in a COVID-19 quarantine camp.

Despite coming down with the virus, Fisher is now more inspired than ever to help during the pandemic.

As Fisher unpacks from his last trip, memories, or perhaps nightmares come flooding back.

“I didn’t think I would be the next victim, and you kind of know what you’re walking into but once you get there, you’re blindsided by what can happen,” said Fisher.

On April 10, what started as a normal day for Fisher took a serious turn for the worse.

“It was hard for me to breath…I remember just waking up in the ER,” said Fisher.

Fisher was rushed to a hospital where he spent seven days on oxygen before being released. He was then brought to Pilgrim Firs Camp, a place that once hosted church retreats and youth groups.

“From the first day, we wanted to make sure hospital beds were open and fewer people were exposed and that they could come here to heal, to be quarantined, and to make sure they were safe and our community was safer,” said Wade Zick, managing Director of Pilgrim Firs Camp.

The camp has served as a quarantine and isolation center since March, for nearly 70 COVID-19 patients.

“We’ve had a whole host of different experiences and different reasons for people to be here,” said Zick.

Once recovered, Fisher went back to a nursing home to finish out his contract.

“Then I decided it was time to come home,” said Fisher.

After taking a few months off, Fisher is packing up once again to set out for more contract duty.

“What I saw out in Washington is what I’m seeing in North Dakota currently,” said Fisher.

However, this time he’s staying in North Dakota, where COVID-19 numbers are some of the worst in the country.

Fisher is working a 13-week contract in Ellendale at a long-term care facility.

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