NEW YORK - Emergency room nurse Adelene Egan says it started as a passion project to uplift her coworkers through photography and storytelling. But it became something a lot bigger.
On her breaks from shifts at New York-Presbyterian Hospital, Egan has snapped photos with her Nikon camera of coworkers. The faces, albeit partially concealed by protective masks and shield, are of those on the frontlines of a pandemic.
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Egan, who enjoys photography as a hobby, also sent a few questions to her subjects to mull over and has included the answers in her Instagram posts.
"People have responded with awesome stories about why they chose the profession they are in and how they are navigating this experience of being on the front lines in a pandemic," Egan said.
Doctor Lindsey Kurumada told Egan, “There is a stronger connection to our patients. I see the fear in their eyes, it is the same fear I see when I look in the mirror.”
There’s also Nurse Katie Nickel who said this about their patients: "They will never be alone, we will always be there fighting for them, it's what we do."
The portraits and stories cover the full gamut of emotions these health care professionals are going through.
“People are willing to show up despite feeling fear for their own health or fear for the health of their families," said Egan. "I mean people I work with have lost loved ones though this pandemic and continue to show up and I think it's amazing for us to show up for our patients for ourselves as family."
Egan says through sharing these photos, family members and friends of people on the front lines have had access into the experiences of their loved ones.
There are around 100 photos now, pictures of doctors, nurses, environmental services staff, unit clerks, and patient transporters.
“I really wanted to be intentional about including people from all different professions who are serving on the front lines and making all the same sacrifices," Egan said.
To see the faces of the frontlines on Facebook and Instagram at addieegan.photography or addieegan.wixsite.com/mysite.
*All photos by Adelene Egan, RN, NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center