For the couple Dr. Trishla Desai and Dr. Varun Shah, the battle against COVID-19 is personal.

“I didn’t see my husband for more than three months,” says Dr. Desai, an internal medical specialist and a hospitalist at Memorial Satilla Health in Waycross. As she worked on the frontline in south Georgia, her husband spent from early March until June as a third-year pulmonary and critical care fellow at a hospital in New York City. While his critical care work has ended, Dr. Shah continues to help patients in New York while on a second fellowship.

In Waycross, Dr. Desai is making sure COVID-19 patients are stable before they go home, and she supports them while they’re at Memorial Satilla.

“For me, it’s not about the numbers,” says Dr. Desai. “From the time a patient comes in with respiratory distress until that moment you realize they can go home, it’s about being able to help that one patient. You feel like everything you’re doing is worth it.”

Dr. Desai says it is difficult being apart from her husband, especially during such unprecedented times, but they both feel passionate about what they’re doing to save the lives of COVID-19 patients.