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Press Release

Release Date: February 17, 2021
by Chickasaw Nation Media Relations Office

Kinsha Walker is a Chickasaw health care hero. Residing in Louisiana as a private health care nurse, Walker has traveled the country helping those in need by using her skills to nurse people afflicted with COVID-19. Having had COVID-19 herself, she knows firsthand how dangerous this virus is.

When the calls came for nurses to travel to places where COVID-19 was hitting hardest, Walker answered them. She traveled from her home in Louisiana to Harlem, New York, when the pandemic began to overwhelm the medical centers and hospitals there.

First interviewed by the Chickasaw Nation in the early summer of 2020, Walker explains she is still doing well and helping others in need.

“I am still here, I am still helping others fight this virus,” Walker said. “I am currently in Lubbock, Texas. I have also been to Tyler, Texas, since the last time we talked.

“My phone is ringing constantly with everyone needing assistance,” Walker said. “I go wherever I can to pitch in and help. There is a tremendous need for nurses right now.”

Walker recalls her time in New York. At the time, New York was a “hot spot.” The coronavirus was spreading like wildfire in the local population and hospitals were having a difficult time keeping up with patient demand. The health care workers she and others had come to assist were appreciative for the extra hands.

“They had lost so many of their co-workers and peers that they had worked beside. They experienced a lot of death, not just patients but amongst their fellow employees. They were losing friends that they had worked with. You spend so much time working with other nurses, sometimes 12 hours a day, it is like losing family members,” Walker said.

Once her time in New York was completed, Walker went home. But, staffing agencies continued to call. The demand for caring for those with COVID-19 continues to grow. Walker found herself accepting a nursing position in Tyler in July of last year. While others were celebrating Independence Day, she was in a medical ward caring for the most vulnerable.

She returned home to be with family when her assignment in Tyler was completed. But something within Walker made her go back out once again to help strangers who were desperately in need of her services.

“I went home to spend time with my family, but I would think about all of those people who could not feel normal. They had lost loved ones, and people are still fighting for their lives. The need for nurses made me feel like I needed to be there to assist. I feel like I need to be where I can help.

“People are still losing loved ones. It is devastating. You do all that you can for patients. (COVID-19) is still very much alive.”

As a COVID-19 survivor herself and having seen the devastation the virus has had on families, Walker relates to those in her care. She understands the trials and uncertainty that patients feel. This pushes her to give the best care possible, not only medically, but emotionally as well.

“It’s taught me not to take anything for granted, that loved ones may not always be here with us. Not ever in my generation have I seen so much death, even at my age. We need to be vigilant about fighting COVID-19,” Walker said. “We need to be vigilant about prevention so we can get back to our normal lives outside of COVID-19.”