Health Care Heroes: Answering the call to service

Health Care Heroes: Answering the call to service

In times of crisis, some people are drawn to service. For Kyle Bellaire, his desire to help others took him to the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak in the United States.

Bellaire, 25, joined Aurora at the beginning of the year as a cardiology LPN at St. Luke’s. However, his journey to the front lines started before that. A Racine native, Bellaire also serves in the U.S. Army Reserves 945th FRST, or Forward Resuscitative Surgical Team.

Last spring, Bellaire received orders to deploy to a combat support hospital in Edison, New Jersey. In a time of national and global uncertainty, he said goodbye to his family and friends and headed east to help COVID-19 patients in the hot spots of New Jersey and the greater New York City area.

“Leaving is never easy, but I had tremendous support. I was really excited to have a part in treating those impacted by COVID-19,” said Bellaire.

Kyle headed out in early April, as he and 85 fellow soldiers from across the country treated low-acuity patients at the Combat Support Hospital based at the Edison Convention Center. Later, he and a group of soldiers were pulled into JFK Medical Center in Edison to work in their COVID-ICU.

There, the patients Kyle treated were often much worse off. Many were on ventilators, feeding tubes and IVs for meds and fluids. Some of these patients did not survive. While he was away, Kyle stayed in touch with friends from St. Luke’s, and he says the support he got from colleagues helped keep him going during the mission.

“I learned how important it is to be flexible, especially when dealing with a poorly understood disease process. Resilience is essential in these situations, and it’s even more important to check on your peers throughout the process,” said Bellaire.

Finally, in mid-May, Kyle came home to Milwaukee, greeted by his wife at the airport after a grueling and emotional experience. While he doesn’t treat COVID patients currently at St. Luke’s, he carries with him the lessons he learned on the front lines of the pandemic.

“My main advice is to be flexible,” said Bellaire. “We should do our best to stay united and do what’s best for the world as a whole.”

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One Comment

  1. This man is above and beyond amazing! Glad to work along side you in ACS.

About the Author

Matt Queen
Matt Queen

Matt Queen, health enews contributor, is a communication coordinator at Aurora Health Care in Milwaukee. He is a former TV sports anchor and journalist with extensive public relations experience across the health care spectrum. Outside of work, Matt enjoys watching sports (of course), cooking, gardening, golfing and spending time with his wife and two young children.