Sisters on the front lines of COVID-19 at Morristown, UT hospitals

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — East Tennessee sisters Hannah and Lily Vail are among the unsung heroes in the COVID-19 crisis.

They may not have years of experience to help arm them in the fight against the lethal virus, but they’re not letting it scare them away from what they see as their calling in life.

We caught up with them on a day off from work, standing side by side at the kitchen sink at home, appreciating the simple act of washing dishes. The two are fighting the fatigue of front line duty as health care workers.

Hannah, 24, is an emergency room tech at Morristown-Hamblen Hospital. Lily, 21, is an emergency room nurse at UT Medical Center.

They are taking these uncertain times in stride with a maturity far beyond their years, knowing the importance of putting their patients first above all else.

“I just make sure that I’m there for them no matter what,” Lily said. “Even if they have the virus, we’re there for work. That’s our job.”

“Treat them like you would even before all this COVID, Coronavirus started,” Hannah said.

These changing times for patient care present new challenges in making sure families are well informed despite no-visitor rules.

“I spend a lot of time on the phone talking to family members updating them, and sometimes it’s hard because you’re taking care of your patients and you don’t have time but you make the time,” Lily said.

These sisters have always worked hard, earning top grades and awards in high school and college, giving credit to their mom Robyn for setting the educational standard, from as far back as they can remember.

And they’re always there for each other to celebrate each milestone.

“I’ve always been the type of person I want to do as good as I can and be the best person I can be,” Hannah said.

“I always wanted to be as good as she was so I worked really hard and I did what she did,” Lily said.

Both sisters say their careers in health care are their calling in life.

“I just think it’s important to have a servant’s heart,” Hannah said. “Being able to help someone who’s in need and not judge them based on their situation or circumstances, you’re just there to help them.”

“I don’t consider myself a hero,” Lily added. “I’m just doing what God called me to do. This is what I prayed for and what I want to do.”

Looking to the future, Hannah has been accepted to Lincoln Memorial University for its Physicians Assistant Program. She begins this summer.

Lily graduates with her bachelor’s degree in nursing in July and one day hopes to earn her master’s degree and teach nursing.

Their mother nominated them for our Heroes award. We think she has every reason to be proud.


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