Singing nurse lets Ottawa Hospital ICU patients know 'You Are Not Alone'
OTTAWA -- A nurse working on the frontlines at the Ottawa Hospital is singing to her patients in the intensive care unit, letting them know they are not alone during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Ottawa Hospital shared a video on social media of endoscopy nurse Amy-Lynn Howson standing outside a patient's room in the ICU with a guitar, singing her song, "You Are Not Alone."
"I wrote it about three or four years ago when a friend was struggling with some mental health issues and it reminded me of some of my own struggles," said Howson, during an interview on CTV News at Six with Graham Richardson Friday evening.
"Sometimes people don't have the answers to tell you how to fix things or how to get better," said Howson. "But for me in my own life journey, when someone's been there with me and just sat with me in it that can sometimes change a life. So that was the song and it hadn't really seen much of the life of the day until the pandemic and I realized it was maybe time to sing it."
Howson was recently redeployed to the ICU at the Ottawa Hospital as the hospital adjusts staffing and ramps down non-urgent procedures to deal with an influx of patients during the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Howson has been a nurse for nine years.
"I've had the opportunity to go and do some medical missions abroad, and on one trip someone brought a guitar with them and that gave me the idea, why can't we start doing that here at home," Howson said.
"I hadn't done that here at the Ottawa Hospital yet, but when I've been helping out in the ICU I noticed how heavy things have been and I saw how lonely the patients were. I thought if I don't do this now, when is there a better time to start bringing comfort to the patients just the way I can."