A Healthcare Hero’s Return to MSK

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Kevin Browne, MSK’s Deputy Chief Nursing Officer, on the day he returned to work.

Kevin Browne, MSK’s Deputy Chief Nursing Officer, on the day he returned to work.

At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in New York City in mid-April, a small crowd of hospital staff gathered safely near the entrance to Memorial Sloan Kettering to clap out their colleague and fellow healthcare hero, Kevin Browne. Several weeks earlier, Browne, a registered nurse and MSK’s Deputy Chief Nursing Officer and staffer of more than two decades, was admitted to MSK’s Urgent Care Center after experiencing COVID-like symptoms, including intense shortness of breath, headaches, sudden loss of taste and smell, and extreme body pain. Under the watchful eyes and caring hands of his MSK colleagues, Browne spent two grueling weeks in the Intensive Care Unit, followed by several long days as an inpatient. On that April day, as the pandemic continued to ravage New York City, Kevin received his discharge notice and headed home to start his long road to recovery.

He vividly recalls what it was like to be cared for by his colleagues, his MSK family.

“The waxing and waning of the viral disease was horrible,” Browne said, reflecting on those first few days. “But I’ve been a nurse for 33 years and I know what good care looks like. At MSK, our science mission is so clear, but it’s the balance — our nurses never lost sight of who I was as a person. And in my most darkest moments, they were like bright lights.”

After nearly 21 weeks of convalescence and recovery, including intensive physical therapy multiple days per week, Browne returned to his nursing team at MSK in early August feeling “excited, but apprehensive. I am going back to the people who saved my life, and I can’t wait to be back amongst them.”

Watch the video here.