Married Couple Both Working in Rambam’s COVID-19 Department
Anastasia and Slava Kotliarov have been married for four years, but during recent weeks, they only see each other once a week. They are both nurses at Rambam Health Care Campus, and volunteered, without hesitation, to care for patients in the hospital’s dedicated COVID-19 Department.
April 6, 2020 Slava Kotliarov is a nurse in Rambam’s Neurosurgery Intensive Care Unit, and his wife Anastasia works in the Division of Critical Care Medicine. Approximately two-and-a-half weeks ago, they decided to dedicate their lives to coronavirus patients and volunteered for service in the COVID-19 Department. They work around the clock in alternate shifts and almost never see each other; their two children—aged 13 and 15—remain at home and are not allowed to go outside. “We are not home for days, and sometimes, it is really difficult,” shares Anastasia.
Everyone around them complains about the long days at home with the children and with nothing to do, but Anastasia would actually appreciate some family time. “During these crazy times, I dream about a family meal – something we haven’t had in a long time,” she explains. However, Anastasia emphasizes, she does not regret the decision to volunteer. “We feel great appreciation for what we do. We wanted to make an impact and take on this challenge.”
Initially, Anastasia began working in the department where patients were intubated and on ventilators, and lately, she has been treating isolated patients who are more independent. “The feeling is that the patients are really committed to the task as hand, and that they are really grateful to us for taking care of them,” adding, “the patients are alone, so a conversation develops very quickly.”
Anastasia points out that she does not remember such a time in her life, when there was such a heavy load. “We work quite hard and are exposed to a great deal – both physically and emotionally – and together, it is very challenging. The protective gear also makes it difficult to function because of the vapors created inside the mask that make things more complicated. When we finish work, all we want to do is to go to bed and forget about everything, at least for an hour.”