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Columbus nurse separates from son for his safety, urges public: "Please stay home"

Health care workers sacrificing for our safety ask for the public's help stopping virus.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — A Columbus nurse on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic is making an emotional plea.

She is sharing the story of her personal sacrifice on behalf of the countless heroes in hospitals across the country.

Refynd Duro has been a nurse for 17 years.

"Helping people get better...it's so rewarding to see a patient who is very very sick get better," she said, choking up. "Being there for their family. It's being able to be there."

But in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak, being able to be there for her patients, means not being there for her own family.

"I haven't seen my son for a week and today's his birthday and it's difficult. But I know the sacrifices I'm making will make a difference," she said. "My parents are almost 70 years old. And so I have to sacrifice being away from my family, which is the worst thing I've ever done. But I have to do it for their health."

Monday on Facebook, she wrote to her son: "Happy 3rd Birthday my little man! I'm so sorry that Mommy cannot be with you on your special day. Someday I will explain everything to you."

"Since I'm not able to spend time with him I want him to know he's the reason why I'm doing what I'm doing," she said through tears. "He's my world. He changed my world, you know? He made me be a better person. I'm doing this for him."

She is far from alone in her sacrifice.

"We discuss how hard it's going to be for us, but we choose to do what we do because this is our calling."

She has shared photos of fellow health care professionals with the message: "We stayed at work for you...you stay at home for us."

"PLEASE stay home. PLEASE. Don't go outside unless you really have to. This is serious. A serious matter. Listen to Governor DeWine and (Ohio Health Director) Dr. Acton."

For the sacrifice she and so many on the front lines of this fight are making, she asks only this from us:

"Just pray for us that we will get through this. And that hopefully, people comply. This is not a drill. It's serious. We have to listen. As a nurse, seeing what I've seen, it's not...it's not good."

Duro says she has no idea when it will be safe for her to see her son or her parents.

She says, "I see it as like being in the military and being away on a mission."

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