First Responders Spotlight: Unity respiratory therapist ‘holds everyone together’ during COVID-19 fight

First Responders Spotlight

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — “So, what respiratory does is take care of, especially at this time, taking care of patients on ventilators.”

Bobbi Fanton has worked at Unity Hospital for 13 years. She says the past year has been like nothing she’s ever been through. 

“During the pandemic, obviously it’s been very stressful, lots of hours from everyone.”

Fanton says there have been hopeful moments here when patients go off a ventilator and recover, but there have also been plenty of difficult moments. She says losing a patient is something you can never get used to. 

“Very tough. Very tough. These patients we tend to take care of for quite a while.”

With all the loss and long hours, we asked the Director of Respiratory Therapy if having Fanton on board helps make the days easier. 

“I would never use the word ‘easier,'” Director of Respiratory Therapy Kristine Barrett said. ‘Bearable’. 

“Bobbi’s kind of the glue for this department, she holds everyone together.”

Fanton says for any doubters, take it from her: COVID is very real. With hospitals still strained across the region, she says we still need to wear our masks, stay socially distant, and avoid large gatherings. We’re not out of this yet. 

“Now that we have the vaccine, that’s great. But we’re still going to have to keep up with those other things as well.”

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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