Following months of tireless work during COVID-19 , a nursing home employee from the Bronx is getting her story told.
With their “Unsung Heroes” campaign, StoryTerrace, a service that pairs a person with an accredited ghostwriter to compose autobiographies, is shining a spotlight on people who helped others during COVID-19.
Bronx resident Lindsay Sherman, 38, has been chosen as one of the book’s 25 featured heroes, selected from over 400 entries around the world. Over the summer, Sherman’s best friend heard StoryTerrace’s call to action for first-person accounts from front line workers during COVID-19.
Sherman is the director of social work at a nursing home in Manhattan. After the majority of her staff quit due to their own health fears, she took on her whole team’s workload. She helped families cope with deaths, provided support to dying patients, made hospice referrals and coordinated Skype video calls for residents to communicate with family. She never talked about her fears of going into work, despite suffering from asthma and chronic bronchitis.
“It was a very difficult time,” Sherman recalled. “I never thought in my career I would witness something like this.”
Sherman has worked at the nursing home for 10 years and spent three of them as the social work director. According to Sherman, there was nothing that could have prepared her for the devastation of the pandemic. She described it as a “war zone,” and witnessed the death of a co-worker and numerous patients.
She said that she felt an overwhelming sense of sadness throughout the past months that she hopes she will never feel again.
“People were scared to come to work,” she said.
Sherman told the Bronx Times how she would sit with COVID-19 patients and do her best to comfort them. Knowing they could not see their family hurt even more.
Throughout the pandemic, she was fearful she would catch the coronavirus. In fact, because of her job, she had not seen her parents in six months, but she did her best to keep her composure and persevered.
“We just did it,” she said. “I helped the staff however I could.”
Sherman explained that her training from Fordham University set her up on how to work with people and be caring and supportive.
She shared that things are slowly improving in the nursing home as there are less COVID-19 residents and visitors can now see their loved ones through a plexiglass door.
Sherman was close with her late grandparents Sylvia Paroff and Charles Sherman, so working in a nursing home felt right.
“I always knew I wanted to work in a nursing home because of the relationship with my grandparents,” she said.