With the COVID-19 pandemic, many lives and routines were instantly changed. But for single mom LaShonda Haynes, when the crisis hit, she stepped into action.
Before the coronavirus, LaShonda was deep in her studies working toward graduating from Houston Community College with her associate degree. Being a single mom to two children and maintaining a part-time job, LaShonda had to work hard to achieve success. But with the support she received from Buckner Family Pathways and her diligence to maintain good grades, she was proud to know she would graduate this month.
Then came shelter-in-place orders and LaShonda’s life changed. Not only were her children, ages 10 and 14, now home every day completing their school work online, LaShonda’s college courses became online courses as well. In addition, the hospital she worked at as a nursing assistant changed her part-time hours to full time due to the hospital being short staffed.
It was hard. LaShonda found herself every day making critical decisions and balancing her obligations. Like most other people, LaShonda was concerned about the coronavirus and her extra exposure working on a COVID floor in the hospital, but she knew she was supposed to be there helping the sick.
“Being in the nursing field, it is my duty to provide comfort, sympathy, safety and care for all patients,” LaShonda said. “I never thought we all would be going through something like this, but God gave me healing hands to help others who are ill, and that is what I must do.”
LaShonda is especially compassionate to her patients currently because they are not allowed visitors. It breaks her heart for her to see them suffer without family.
“There is a sadness felt on the whole floor,” LaShonda said. “These people are dying alone, and all they have is us.”
At Family Pathways, LaShonda attends a virtual Bible study every weekday morning with Family Pathways director Anna Rodriquez and also the weekly check in with the other mothers in the program. Both are safe places for LaShonda to process her emotions with others like her.
“It’s a big deal for her to know we have her back and are praying for her while on the frontlines,” Anna said. “It means so much to her and all the mothers at Family Pathways to have a supportive community to help them get through these hard times.
And when LaShonda gets scared, she remembers to trust in God.
“Praying is what I do every morning when I wake up, on my way to work and once I arrive,” she said. “This dilemma shall pass, and I will be able to breathe again and have peace of mind.”