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Milwaukee-area Ascension team sent to Texas to fight COVID-19

Posted at 10:40 PM, Jul 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-05 23:40:20-04

MILWAUKEE — A group of Wisconsin’s brave nurses are heading to battle COVID-19 on another front line: Deep in the heart of Texas.

The group was sent off Sunday at General Mitchell International Airport to help in Travis County, Texas. The area, which holds Texas’ capital city Austin, has eclipsed 11,000 cases this past week.

Nurses gathered in a small prayer circle before taking flight.

“It’s kind of been a whirlwind. It kind of came up quickly,” said Lisa Knigge, a respiratory therapist at Ascension St. Joseph’s.

Colleen Henley, an Intensive Care Unit specialist said she is anxious and nervous about the big assignment.

“I didn’t sleep last night. I’m excited for the opportunity,” Henley said.

The group will be helping out in many ways, as part of a greater 20-person team. Each person volunteered to go.

“This week, there was a call for help and I put a call out to the state and asked... let’s start with volunteers,” Heather Schimmers, Chief Nursing Officer of Ascension Wisconsin said.

Kathleen Henley, Colleen’s mother, dropped off her daughter. Kathleen is also a nurse in the Ascension network.

“Very proud. I’m very proud of her,” Kathleen Henley said.

The team is expected to return to the Milwaukee area in the next two weeks.

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