Meet Le Club's Everyday Heroes Nominees

Voting is official open for our Everyday Heroes giveaway! Before you cast your vote, get familiar with all of our nominees and their inspiring stories.

Festus Amarteifio, Resident Nurse, Miami, FL

Festus Amarteifio is a Registered Nurse in Miami, FL. You may recognize Festus from our very own Le Club swimwear photoshoots. On top of being a model and a Registered Nurse, Festus is a father. He puts his life on the line everyday as he works on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic here in Miami. Time spent working in the hospital means time spent away from his family and his little baby boy. Despite how difficult things have become in his community, Festus keeps a positive attitude and continues to bring his patients the care and hope they need to recover. Le Club proudly nominates Festus Amarteifio for the Everyday Heroes Giveaway.

Jeff Bloom, Physician, New York City, NY

“Jeff Bloom is a doctor in NYC working the front lines of COVID since the start of the pandemic. He works 12+ hour shifts in the ICU, which is probably the toughest place to be right now. He works incredibly hard for his patients! He stays late to FaceTime families of his patients. He is one of the most compassionate and empathetic people I know, and his energy is contagious. In his free time, he coordinates food and coffee deliveries to the staff- from doctors to security guards. He is a force and We want to show him how much we appreciate him for all the morale he’s given us, especially at a hospital hit hard by COVID.”

Wendy Zhou, Resident Physician, San Jose, CA

“Wendy is currently an internal medicine resident physician, serving at one of the main hospitals here in Silicon Valley. Her residency program takes care of 2/3 of the adult patients in the hospital and manages the entire ICU. She has been working 80+ hour work weeks taking care of both covid patients and chronically ill patients. We were unable to go on our honeymoon because of covid, but instead of being upset, Wendy has just been working tirelessly to take care of her patients and help nurse them back to health so they can go home. She is out there saving lives everyday.”

Justin Buro, Surgical Resident, Stony Brook, NY

“My name is Justin Buro and I am one of the surgery residents currently assigned to working on the Covid-19 floors at my hospital in Stony Brook, NY. I am currently working the night shift at the hospital, for which many of us are often called in with less than 24 hours notice. Many of us are serving in roles way beyond our capabilities and way outside of our chosen specialty. Despite being a surgical resident and pneumonia being very outside my specialty, I am working day and night to support my patients and fellow colleagues in battling this devastating pandemic. This is truly an unprecedented time.”

Nicole Schenk, Registered Nurse, Philadelphia, PA

“Nicole is a registered nurse in the neonatal intensive care unit here in Philadelphia. A passionate lover of life, she has built her world around living a life in the service of others. She decided to pursue a lifestyle of helping other young people and has selflessly given of herself to serve the most vulnerable and voiceless among us—children. Her efforts extend beyond the workplace where she engages in various community service projects and medical mission trips abroad. She continues to support and guide the tiniest and sickest neonates/infants and their families through the painful and scary recovery process in the ICU, despite the recent disaster of COVID-19. There is so much she has overcome in life yet her refreshing optimism and resilience places her in a place where she is gifted in her ability to serve others with grace, optimism, and compassion.”

Alexis Petrosino, Resident Nurse, Philadelphia, PA

“Alexis is a full time nurse in Philadelphia PA who is helping fight COVID. She is one of the most selfless people I know and she takes her job very seriously as she’s always doing everything in her power to make her patients feel comfortable and cared for. We are so privileged to have an amazing nurse like Alexis fighting on the front lines.”

Mark Mariano Deguzman, Nurse Practitioner, New York City, NY

“My son is currently working as a nurse practitioner in a community clinic in The Bronx. When Covid hit, they turned their clinic into a respiratory unit in order to take care of incoming patients from a nearby hospital. He would call me after his shift and we would laugh at all the joyful stories and I would sit and be there when he had lost patients. He has a good heart and deserves all the joy in the world. I’m so proud of him stepping up into the front lines to care for people.”

Liliya Tereshchuk, Physician Assistant, Hartford, CT

“I am a Physician Assistant working in the general surgery department at a large hospital in Hartford, CT. As most elective surgeries have been cancelled due to the pandemic, our surgery team has been helping the hospital in other areas that are overwhelmed with caring for Covid-19 affected patients. We are working odd shifts (evenings and overnights) and go wherever we are needed. In addition, I have been providing support to several family members who got sick with Covid while trying to keep it together. It is a challenging time for everyone, especially those of us on the front lines.”

Bianca Hidalgo, Resident Nurse, West Covina, CA

“Bianca works in the designated COVID unit that holds all of the corona virus patients in her hospital in West Covina. As she works extremely hard during the long shifts, she often comes home with bruises and indents on her face for wearing an N95 mask for 12 hours a day. She is super dedicated to helping her patients recover and hardly ever calls off work even though she has a family and a 6-year-old, homeschooled son.

During one of her shifts, Bianca encountered an older couple in the ICU, a 102-year-old man and an 89-year-old woman both suffering from COVID. After 2 weeks of treatment, and a decline in their statuses, their daughter issued a DNR order for them. Both were extubated and the nursing team put the couples hands together while they passed away. This is just one of the many moving stories that Bianca has shared with me from her experience working in the ICU. Throughout the long and exhausting shifts, Bianca continues to be a positive light not only to her family but to all the patients she serves in her hospital. Her passion and dedication to helping others is truly unmatched.”

Jonathan Babayev, Surgical Physician Assistant, Queens, NY

“Jonathan is a Surgical Physician Assistant at a hospital in Queens, NY that has been helping on the medicine floors and the ICUs during this pandemic. Because serving COVID patients is outside of his normal scope of practice, he studies at home on his days off to learn how he can be better prepared to work with ventilated patients. Jonathan inspires us with his dedication, constantly working 12-hour shifts and recently cancelling his week of planned vacation just to help serve and support his fellow staff and patients.”

Kathlene Schneider, ICU Nurse, Mill Creek, WA

“Kathlene has been an ICU nurse for 6 years and a traveling nurse for 3. She is currently in Washington where the heart of the outbreaks started for the US. She works 60+ hours a week and puts the needs of her patients before her own. She goes to work everyday with a smile and I couldn’t be more proud of her.”

John & Kristen Ameen, IM Residents, Hudson Beach, FL

“My husband and I are 2nd year IM residents working 80+hr/week in ICU serving COVID-19 patients. We barely have proper protective gear and we truly can use all the support we can get.”

Olivia James, ICU Nurse, San Antonio, TX

“My wife is a ICU Nurse, on a covid unit. She can't stay home she is a healthcare worker. She works 12+plus hour shifts, she is away from our 5 month old daughter all day,and if she is scheduled 3 days back to back that's even more time she is away from our baby. On top of all this, my wife is dedicated to breastfeeding our baby girl! I have the privilege to be with my daughter all day right now and I see when my wife comes home from these shifts she is beyond exhausted especially now during this Corona Virus outbreak. Not having the essential items as a nurse to help protect her from contracting this virus is a serious thing. She puts her life on the line especially now to care for sick patients not really knowing what she could be exposed to. I pray for my wife Olivia along with our family who all rally behind this INCREDIBLE woman.”

Kaleija Inniss, Resident Nurse, Boston, MA

“Kaleija inspires me every day because since the start of COVID-19 his attitude has not changed. As Boston's cases began to rise, general medicine floors were being converted into COVID units. Many of his coworkers became nervous and frustrated with the uncertainty of what this pandemic would bring. Kaleija never failed to maintain the same bright smile and positive attitude. He was able to ease the minds of coworkers and patients with his calm and easygoing demeanor. Each and every day he goes to work with a smile and comes home with the same smile he left with! While many try to stay far away from COVID, Kaleija looks at it as an opportunity to learn and become a better nurse. Each day he goes above and beyond to make his patients feel as though they are not alone despite not being allowed visitors. He arranges Facetime calls and prints out activities for his patients. He appreciates the experience of working through such an unprecedented global pandemic. I aspire to have the drive and compassion that Kaleija has when I enter the field of medicine next year. Although he does not look for praise, he deserves all of the glory!”

Michelle Walsh, Respiratory Therapist, Orland Park, IL

"I would like to nominate Michelle Walsh. She is a Respiratory Therapist at Silver Cross Hospital in New Lenox Illinois. This woman is dedicated. She’s dedicated to her patients, her coworkers, her family, her friends and herself. Michelle is on the front lines, that’s for sure!! She has COVID 19 positive patients every time she works. Now just think, her face, (with proper PPE) her patients face, almost pressed together while she listens to their lungs with her stethoscope. Her double gloved hands touching oxygen and machine tubing that goes into their nose, around their nose and mouth or down their throat. While doing so, patients are coughing, hacking and spitting up sputum. She knows this virus is flying all around her and knowing any screw up of putting her PPE on correctly before she walks into a room may land her on the opposite side. Could you imagine walking into work knowing you have to come in contact with the virus that is killing so many people? And then it’s not only one patient you’re taking care of that day but a whole floor and ICU filled of positive patients. Ventilators breathe for patients. So who runs this top priority machine? A Respiratory therapist!!! Respiratory therapists are the only people able to run these and manage patient settings. A ventilator is the piece of equipment that she and her department specialize in. Not one other person knows how to function that machine. This is the golden ticket to keeping people alive!! Everything she does is in direct contact with a patient, more than others think. It’s not just nurses and doctors that directly care for them, it’s her too! So please don’t forget about this profession as it’s a main part in saving peoples lives. I don’t like to see that taken away from her as I have seen throughout her whole career. When she walks through the doors at work she’s scared, when she leaves she’s scared. At home she’s scared. I think it’s time she gets a pick me up. She’s strong. Very strong though. I know she could be even stronger with more support and people by her side. In my eyes, Michelle shines! It’s time the world sees that too.”

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