MORTON, Ill. (WMBD/WYZZ) — Morton native Matt Wiegand was a Mid-Illini all-conference selection as catcher during his high school baseball career. Fast forward a decade, and now he has traded in his catchers glove for medical gloves as a nurse.
“Playing baseball, there’s nine people out there and you’re all working together. And in the profession of nursing, you’re working with other nurses, doctors,” Wiegand said. “You have to be able to all work together on one patient and work together as a team.”
Wiegand is a nurse at OSF Saint Francis in Peoria in the emergency department. With hundreds of patients daily, its their duty to check each individual for COVID-19 signs.
“They come in with a certain set of symptoms that we’ve been told to look for. And we may not know until a day or two later if they have it or not,” Wiegand said. “So we kind of treat everybody that has those specific set of symptoms as postive until proven otherwise.”
Wiegand comes from a healthcare family, whether its nurses, doctors or pharmacists. He says it’s been incredible to see the public support of first responders during these challenging times.
“We’re always here to help but it’s been interesting to see how the community has started to say, ‘We’re thankful that you guys are here doing this and putting yourself at risk,'” Wiegand added.
Even though his baseball days are behind him, Matt is using the tools he learned on the diamond while working on the front lines of a pandemic.
“Coming from a baseball background you take every inning as a new inning,” Wiegand said. “And you kind of take every day as a new day in the healthcare profession with the corona virus.”