fbpx

Heroes of the Pandemic: Mireya Toquica

Mireya Toquica  

Nurse, Aventura Hospital & Medical Center

BackgroundToquica, 34, was born in Colombia; she moved to Miami in 2000 with lifelong dreams of becoming a nurse. “I grew up in a place where people lacked basic health care resources and services,” she explains. “Seeing that changes you. That’s what inspired me to make a difference.” Shortly after settling in the United States, Toquica vowed to learn English, enroll in college, and dedicate herself to helping as many people as possible by pursuing a degree in nursing. She has worked at Aventura Hospital for the last three years as a medical and surgical nurse. Currently, she is stationed on one of the facility’s dedicated COVID-19 floors.  

 

Pandemic stories: Similar to hospitals around the country, iPads have become the new handholding during the COVID-19 pandemic, Toquica says. These sleek, slender devices are lifelines for patients, especially for those receiving treatment on the COVID-19 floors.

“You truly can’t imagine how difficult it is for patients and families to not see each other and hold hands, especially during a pandemic” Toquica explains. “This technology has become essential for us. It’s the only way patients and families can communicate.”

As a nurse, Toquica not only treats patients, but she also provides vital emotional support. As hospitals prohibit family and friends from visiting patients, she has found herself comforting patients in ways she never anticipated. 

“I don’t know how we would do it without this technology,” she says. “Most patients, especially older ones, don’t come in with a mobile phone that has the capability to FaceTime. Patients being isolated from their loved ones is difficult enough.”

Nursing requires Toquica to live life a few steps ahead, anticipating what may come next and how best to prepare. However, working in the field during a pandemic has taught her the importance of slowing down and appreciating the small moments.

“We’re all in such a rush,” she says. “It’s time to appreciate what matters, like a hug, holding hands, or even a smile. With coronavirus, we don’t even have that right now. You can’t see a smile through a mask. Imagine talking to your loved ones for the last time through an iPad. What I know for sure is I will never take these moments for granted again.”

Photo by Eduardo Schneider

You May Also Like

Renowned Broward County Philanthropist, Susie Levan, Dies at 73

The wife of Alan Levan, Chairman of BBX Capital, Inc., left an indelible mark on the community.

He Nose Best

Dr. Lee Mandel provides insight on the leaps and investments needed to make a mark in the medical space.

South Florida’s Food Scene Flourishes Thanks to Mike Linder’s Unique Approach

His emphasis on food quality, exceptional service, and innovative location choices is paying off.

How IDDI’s ‘Brandstorming’ Marries Design and the Bottom Line

It’s all about design with a purpose for Sherif Ayad and ID & Design International.

Other Posts

Editor’s Letter: An Overlooked Abundance

A couple of months ago, someone posed this question on reddit.com/florida: “Why is Florida’s music industry so weak?” In case you missed the point, they continued, “I don’t think Florida has a very consolidated music scene. It almost feels like folks here are mostly thrilled by novelty and high-energy eccentricity.” Well, ouch. We may not

Kevin Gale
Live and Up Close: Shaw Davis & the Black Ties

“I don’t see my life any other way but as a musician.”

Live and Up Close: My Weekend Therapy

“I was going through a breakup, so I started going to a therapist and he said, ‘You do music, that’s your weekend therapy.’”

Live and Up Close: Ryan Hopkins

“I hope that when people see me perform they realize how much my heart is in it. I’ll put on the same show whether I’m playing to five people or 300.”