Notable Heroes in Health Care: Catrina Williams-Parker

Last updated on December 17th, 2021 at 12:18 pm

Respiratory therapist Catrina Williams-Parker has worked in medicine for 21 years, spending most of those at Aurora West Allis Medical Center. 

She’s cared for hundreds of COVID-19 patients and has seen more of them lose their fight against the virus than anything she’s seen before. Each day, she prepares herself to bring a positive attitude to her patients, according to Advocate Aurora Health colleague Ben Hoekstra.

Since the start of the pandemic, Williams-Parker has put in breathing tubes for patients in the ICU. Every few hours, she and the rest of the team reposition patients who have been proned to help them breathe, something medical practitioners have learned can give patients a better chance at recovering from the illness. 

Not all patients have made it. Williams-Parker’s time in the ICU has been heartbreaking, but she focuses on the wins when she has them, Hoekstra said. 

“COVID has taught me that no matter how life seems today, it might go a different way,” said Williams-Parker. “But as a respiratory therapist in the middle of a pandemic, we have to pray, cry and mentally prepare ourselves for our next workday.”

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