Toni Wilburn
May 2020
Piedmont Fayette Hospital
United States




COVID-19 has shaken the foundation of healthcare to a degree that is unimaginable. The commitment and dedication of the frontline workers have gone above and beyond. Stretched to the limit taken on a whole new meaning. But our inner strength, perseverance, and God-given abilities have become so very relevant during these times.

The Fayette ICU team adopted the COVID patients as their own and have stood in the gaps for not only the patients but also for their families as well. We became their family. Toni Wilburn is such an example. Each day Toni walks on the unit and assumes her assignment. Her adrenalin drives the care that these patients and others so rightfully deserved to a profound high. Giving 100 plus percent is the one and only option.

We are in a healthcare war. Battling an invisible enemy (virus) who is changing the way that humankind now exists. With any war comes death and tragedy. For some, we were not mentally prepared to cope. The magnitude was too great, the deaths were too many. Toni's faith in God keeps her grounded but most of all, "not afraid". Her years of nursing experience are the solid rock that she stands on daily.

The days of relenting death tolls were taxing on the ICU team. There were those patients who had no immediate family nearby and were left to transition alone. But never would a solider leave another soldier on the battlefield to die alone and neither did Toni. Sadly, she had to watch one patient transition after all life-sustaining measures were exhausted. Toni couldn't allow her to die alone. She stood in that gap for the family and stayed at her bedside singing an old gospel hymn, "I'll Fly Away, Oh, Glory, I'll Fly Away. When I Die, Hallelujah, By and By, I'll Fly Away". Never once did she stop holding her hands while she gained her wings and her soul flew away to be at rest. God is pleased with our service to humankind. And the ICU is proud to live the Piedmont Promise.