An ICU nurse was rescued after she sunk into a waist-deep pit of mud along a Boston beach, an incident she says is a reflection of what her year as a healthcare professional has looked like amid COVID.
"It's a great metaphor for the year. I can't believe it," Camille Coelho, 54, told the Boston Herald. "I stepped in mud and pretty soon it was up to my knees and I was stuck… I guess I just had my 15 minutes of fame."
The incident, which Coelho called her "Gilligan's Island situation," happened on Thursday around 3 p.m. near East Boston's Constitution Beach, WBZ-TV reported.
With her son's lab Lucy by her side, Coelho, a nurse in the intensive care unit at South Shore Hospital, was searching for sea glass, as she's thinking about starting a jewelry business, the Herald reported.
As she headed toward the beach, she stepped on what she thought was gravel — only to learn very quickly that it was actually mud.
"I have never walked these flats. I don't plan on walking flats again. It looked like it was gravel, and I was trying to cut through the gravel to get to the beach. And it was not gravel," she told WBZ. "The neighbors called and saw me out there and said, 'Do you want me to call the fire department?' I said 'God no, that's too embarrassing.'"
Despite her embarrassment, the firefighters came anyway, and pulled Coelho to safety using a ladder and boards that they laid across the mud.
"I called a friend and told them, 'Google woman trapped in mud.' I saw a traffic helicopter overhead and wondered if people were stuck in traffic jams because of me," she told the Herald.
For Coelho, the unusual incident capped a difficult year made all the more difficult by her job as a healthcare hero.
"This past year has been awful. Really hard. How would I describe it? It's been very strange. We're all struggling. We work so hard to help people only to watch some struggle and die," she said.
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