Challenging times for moms on coronavirus frontlines

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PLAINS TOWNSHIP, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Sunday is a day to salute mothers for all that they do.

For some moms, that includes caring for patients during the pandemic. There’s one mom doing double duty at the hospital and at home.

“This is my first Mother’s Day as a mother. I just had a baby this past November,” said Mary Gallo, MD – Geisinger Emergency Medicine Physician.

Dr. Mary Gallo and her husband, Dr. Keith Willner, both emergency medicine physicians at Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center, welcomed their son Ian into a world just weeks before the novel coronavirus outbreak.

“It’s been a challenge balancing patient care especially during this pandemic and going home and being a mom,” Dr. Gallo said.

After a day on the frontline during the COVID-19 crisis, new moms like Dr. Gallo can’t just go home and immediately tend to their children’s needs.

“You have to turn away, you know, make sure that you don’t touch them with any of the things that you’ve had on in the hospital and immediately shower, scrub and then come out and try to also mentally put behind everything you’ve seen in the hospital and be there for your child,” Dr.Gallo said.

What doctors these days are seeing is a lot: everything from a baby’s first breath to a COVID-19 patient’s last. But this doctor celebrating her first Mother’s Day tells Eyewitness News she is up to the task

“You know, this is what we’ve trained for. This is what we’ve worked for and I’m grateful to take care of patients and I’m very grateful to have my son at the same time,” Dr. Gallo said.

Dr. Gallo is also breast-feeding her baby and, at times, needs to pump milk while working at the hospital. She says she takes added precautions to prevent bringing potential infection home to her son.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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