The increase in coronavirus cases has kept the nation's medical professionals on the front lines of the global pandemic.
But during the long hours and extensive care-giving, a bright spot emerged for one Chicago-area nurse whose now-fiancé popped the question at a place close to her heart.
Juliette Blondis is a clinical leader at the Pulmonary Medicine Unit, which is responsible for treating coronavirus patients, at Edward Hospital in Naperville.
She and her boyfriend Bryan Goshorn both live in suburban Geneva and were supposed to go on a trip this week that had to be postponed because of the pandemic, the hospital said.
Goshorn instead surprised Blondis on Thursday by proposing on the front lawn of the hospital.
"Our team has been working nonstop," Blondis said. "It's been extremely scary...it was so needed to have this happen because it lifted everybody up."
Due to hospital visitation restrictions, Goshorn was not able to deliver flowers on the first day of spring like he usually does.
"I called her down from the unit that she was in, and she came down to the lobby and I took her outside," he said. "I took her by the hand and walked her outside and eventually proposed."
The couple met online and had been dating for two-and-a-half years including one year long-distance while Goshorn lived in Colorado. After getting engaged, Blondis went back into her unit to continue to work.
"When I walked in everybody was smiling...it boosted the morale in my unit and the whole hospital," Blondis said.
Goshorn proposed on the first day of spring to symbolize rebirth, new beginnings and new adventures together.
"At the end of the day it’s about the individuals on the front lines who are the nurses, physicians and the medical staff," Goshorn said. "Those guys are the heroes and the ones we need to remember."