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College Station nurse, firefighter send their daughter to live with a friend during COVID-19 emergency

Devon Oechsle and Jason\ Oechsle made the decision in order to protect their child.
Credit: Devon Oechsle

HOUSTON — Devon and Jason Oechsle made the difficult decision to send their 3-year-old daughter to stay at a friend's house, possibly for an entire month or longer, while they fight on the front lines against the COVID-19 pandemic.

Devon is an emergency room nurse and Daniel is a firefighter. Due to the nature of both of their jobs, they have a high risk of infection and don't want to bring it home to their daughter, Ellie. Devon said she's already been in contact with COVID-19-positive patients.

While they feel terrible about sending their daughter away, Devon said she is going to stay with an "amazing friend." Ellie calls her 'Miss Nita' and she won't be far from home. Anita lives nearby.

All of that doesn't change the fact that she is heartbroken over the decision.

"I won't get to visit her. I won't get to hug her. I won't get to tuck her in at night. We have FaceTime, and that's it. For up to a month, or who knows how long," Devon said in a Facebook post.

They have one message for parents who are able to be at home with their children: Consider it a blessing.

Oechsle's full post

This is my current situation.

Jason and I just had to have a very hard conversation to send Ellie away tonight for maybe a month... to stay with my amazing friend Anita, who did not even hesitate to keep her for us. And Ellie loves "Miss Nita."

This is the face of someone who feels punished for trying to be the "good guy." My job as an ER nurse is just that, my job, I don't ever feel like it's anything crazy or special or deserving of accolades. Jason feels the same way as a ff/medic.

But, our jobs are important right now and unlike many, we are still required to work. And that work carries a high risk of being infected, or spreading this damn virus. I have already been in contact with +covid patients, and the last thing we want to do is have Ellie surrounded by the potential virus we could carry home.

So, I feel punished for having to be the "good guy." I have to send my 3.5yo child away. I won't get to visit her. I won't get to hug her. I won't get to tuck her in at night. We have FaceTime, and that's it. For up to a month, or who knows how long...and many of my coworkers have had to do the same.

So, if you've read this far and you are having to stay home with your kids all day, consider it a blessing and absolutely NOTHING less.

And for heaven's sake, everyone, STAY.AT.HOME. The sooner this crap is over the quicker my kid can come home

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