By Suzanne Le Mignot

CHICAGO (CBS) – We’re taking a look back at how life is different for those who have been treating COVID-19 patients since the start of the pandemic.

CBS 2’s Suzanne Le Mignot spoke with a former COVID unit ICU nurse who has had some changes that have brought both sorrow and joy.

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She first spoke to Romy Modi in May of 2020 — at the height of the pandemic. At the time, she had been working at Amita Health Alexian Brothers Medical Center in Elk Grove Village, caring for COVID-19 patients, in the ICU.

Sadly, the woman who worked tirelessly to save the lives of those battling COVID-19, lost her husband’s uncle to the virus at the height of the pandemic in India.

“Heartbreaking, to see that. The family was strong but it’s just like, things like that, that are pretty sad,” Modi said.

After seven years at the hospital, Modi left in October of 2020 after earning a master’s degree in nursing focused on family practice.

“So now my life is like totally different,” she said.

Modi now works as a nurse practitioner at a private practice in Naperville and at a CVS minute clinic as a drive-thru COVID test clinician.

“This way I’m actually still helping in the COVID world and just not exposing myself as much, you know, especially with the little one,” she said.

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The little one she’s talking about is Shaydn.

“He recognizes me and dad now, so he smiles right away now when he sees our face.”

Modi gave birth to Shaydn, two months ago.

Romy: “Like it’s just been great! Like, no words!”

Suzanne: “You’re just in love?”

Romy: “Yeah!”

So while there has been sadness with the loss of her husband Akash’s uncle, there is great joy as the Modi family celebrates this new beginning.

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Modi says she keeps in touch with her hospital colleagues. They tell her they’re still working long hours and realize that’s their new normal as the pandemic continues.

Suzanne Le Mignot