As the saying goes, not all heroes wear capes. As we know, Many dress in scrubs layered with PPE – they are our healthcare heroes.

“We took an oath to help others” said Joan Kreiger.

Joan Kreiger is one of them. She is the program director for the Respiratory Care Program at Southern Connecticut State University.

“I was truly inspired by my own students” said Joan Kreiger.

Still working as a per diem Respiratory Therapist at the Cardiopulmonary exercise testing clinic at Yale, which has been closed for weeks now because of the novel coronavirus. Joan still wanted to do more.

“I felt driven to want to contribute in the way other than just in the world of academia,” said Joan.

So when Yale-New Haven Hospital put out a call for more respiratory therapists, Joan answered and stepped back up to the front line.

 “I essentially said I would cover four shifts over the Easter and Passover holiday weekends so these respiratory therapists who have given so much could now go home for the holiday weekends and spend some time with their family.”

At one of Connecticut’s hardest-hit hospitals, Greenwich Hospital, she was there at the bedside of critical COVID-19 patients in the ICU.

“Yes, it was challenging. Yes, it was stressful. But it’s nothing compared to what these patients were going through and what those patients’ families were going through.”

And like all respiratory therapists, “Literally involved in every single breath.”

“I consider my mom a warrior because I am inspired by her leadership and ability to help others,” said Dara Kreiger, Joan’s daughter

“My mom is a warrior because of her bravery and heroic actions to help the community when in desperate need. Though she started on the front line, she will continue caring for patients till the finish line,” said Jessica Kreiger, Joan’s daughter.

“We appreciate her dedication and commitment along with all the other healthcare workers working to overcome this global challenge. Thanks, Mom, You’re amazing,” said Alana Kreiger, Joan’s daughter.

Support is something many of us need during these uncertain times.

“My family was very supportive,” said Joan.

Joan’s three daughter’s, Dara, Jessica and Alana couldn’t’ be proud.

“We’re not really surprised at all that our mom offered to go back on the front lines because she has always instilled the importance of philanthropy and helping others out when there is a need,” said Dara.

Joan is just one of many healthcare workers who have chosen to step back up to the front lines. In true warrior fashion, this is her message to her fellow warriors – “Thank you, thank you for doing it. Thank you for contributing to the cause. This is something we can only do together.”