Local judge recalls compassionate nurse who helped him beat COVID-19

Posted at 10:44 PM, May 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-08 23:46:50-04

After living through a near-deadly battle with coronavirus, Milwaukee Municipal Judge Derek Mosley wants to use his experience to help others learn from, and beat the novel coronavirus.

“I went from the emergency room to intensive care in a matter of 30 minutes,” said Judge Mosley. “I was suddenly in a bed, on oxygen, and doctors were fully covered in personal protective equipment.”

Judge Mosley still doesn’t know how he contracted COVID-19. But when the symptoms started, he knew something wasn’t right. His shortness of breath kept getting worse.

“Not being able to breathe is probably the scariest thing ever,” Mosley said. “I implore people to listen to their body. I had congestion and a cough. I had aches and pains, then I was dizzy.”

Even more difficult than physical symptoms was the isolation and fear he would never see his wife and daughters again.

Judge Mosley spent 12 days at Froedtert Hospital. As word spread that he was an inpatient, the community that loves him so much, stepped-up to show support.

“I couldn’t be more thankful for the Milwaukee community,” he said. “The phone calls, the texts, it has been amazing. But truthfully, it’s Christin that made my recovery possible.”

Nurse Christin Lissmann organized a Facetime call between Judge Mosley and his family, and stayed by his side on the most critical night of his care, when he was dangerously close to being put on a ventilator.

“She’s healthy, and I’m sick and a stranger to her, and she sits down next to me, grabs my hand and makes me feel like a human being again,” he said. “She told me I wasn’t alone, and that we would get through this together. She and other front line workers are going above and beyond for patients.”

Lissman exemplified a clear passion for the wellbeing of her patients.

“I wanted him to know I was there,” Lissmann said. “COVID-19 has taken many things away from us, but loving and supporting each other, really that is the essence of our humanity and it can’t take that away.”

Judge Mosley is healthy again, and home with his family. But he thinks about the many others still fighting COVID-19, and the people who didn’t make it.

In Milwaukee County, coronavirus is disproportionately impacting African-Americans.

“There have been so many people on social media who think this is a hoax, or don’t think this is a big deal,” Judge Mosley said. “The important thing to me, is for people to realize, people are dying. When you’re on the brink of it, it really hits home that this is serious.”

Its a message Lissmann shares, as she continues to help other Covid-19 patients every day.

“Follow CDC guidelines, let’s do what’s being asked,” she said. “Let’s stomp this out so there doesn’t have to be another Mr. Mosley in bed 19. So there aren’t entire communities and zip codes facing horror.”

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