LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — A local respiratory therapist who came out of retirement to assist COVID-19 patients in Boston is heading back as cases once again begin to surge in that region.
Bob Allder was on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic from April through June, and after Thanksgiving, he says he will be flying back to Boston.
"It’s emotional. You're dealing with people's lives. With more complications from COVID-19, it's very isolating with everything being closed down. You're in the hospital on a 12-hour shift, maybe 14. I guess it's a calling for what we do… and I grieve for every family who has lost a loved one," Allder said.
Currently, he’s going back with a heavy heart too. A friend of his Dr. Michael Brown, an ER doctor in Las Vegas, passed away recently with cancer.
Allder says Brown developed cancer as a result of a search and rescue operation for his brother Patrick, who was a captain for the New York City Fire Department during 9/11.
"I know if Mike was here, he'll be working, he'll be working through this… and I just say, in Mike's memory I can't sit back anymore, I’m going back, I’m going to be on the front lines and I’m going to deal with this until the vaccine is available and this virus is vanquished,” Allder said.
While COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations continue to rise in the country, Allder says he is hopeful that the U.S. will get through this. He does not approve of another lockdown, but he said people still need to follow the CDC recommendations to stop the spread of COVID-19.
"We're very close to a vaccine. The treatments are much, much better than when we were first exposed to this. We're much smarter, we're treating people much more successfully and if everybody uses good common sense we're all going to get through this sooner than later,” Allder said.