Nurses greeted with surprise at Yeager Airport after spending several weeks working in NYC hospitals

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CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — Wednesday afternoon, there was a special homecoming at Yeager Airport in Charleston, as two local nurses returned from New York City after spending almost a month there helping the fight against COVID-19.

“She’s my hero and she’s my baby girl,” said Tony Lester. His daughter Shanna Snyder and her friend Norissa Rupe volunteered to go to New York to work in intensive care units caring for patients with COVID-19.

Back in West Virginia, Shanna’s family was planning a surprise to welcome them home.

“She doesn’t like to be in the spotlight at all,” said Judith Lester, Shanna’s mom. She knew her daughter would be shy about the attention but wanted to do something anyway. “She is my hero,” Judith said.

Close to a dozen people stood in the airport parking lot holding signs when the two women walked through the doors with their luggage. Even their pets came to greet them. But unfortunately they weren’t able to hug their family members at least for now. It was a sacrifice they were willing to make.

“She got into nursing to help people and she felt called to do it and I’m going to support her no matter what she does,” Judith said.

Their families had mixed emotions when they said they were making the trip.

“Prayer every day for her for God to watch over her and all of the people that are up there working,” Tony said. “I don’t know that I have been any more worried or concerned in my life.”

Both women said they knew they were doing the right thing. It is a decision so many others have also made, putting their lives on the line to make sure other people had a chance to go home to their families as well.

“With all of the flooding of the nurses that came in, we were able to make a huge difference up there,” Norissa Rupe said.

Both women will have to quarantine for two weeks before they can return to work or go out in public.

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