Sanda Vujnic admits the last several weeks have been hard.
“I think in the beginning we were quite frightened, just like anyone else,” Vujnic said.
Vujnic and her husband, Bartosz Buchcic, are both pulmonary critical care specialists at Northwestern Medicine's Delnor and Central DuPage Hospitals.
The couple met during training at Loyola University Medical Center in 2012, got married in Chicago in 2014 and now are both treating the most critical patients during this coronavirus pandemic.
“We’re busy. We're definitely busy. I would say more busy than expected,” Buchcic said.
They alternate shifts at the hospitals, while Vujnic's mother, Murisa, watches the couple’s two young children. Their daughter, Una, is 3 and their son, Adam, is just 6 months old.
To prevent exposing the rest of their family to the virus, the couple takes showers before leaving work, puts on travel scrubs to head home and then changes again right away before going inside, putting the travel scrubs in a special laundry basket in the garage.
“We walk in, almost naked, to the house before we can have any contact with our family,” Bartosz explained.
Another concern is that Vujnic is still breastfeeding Adam.
“So she’s pumping at work. She’s not getting adequate sleep, but despite that, she keeps my sanity. She keeps me in check. I just want to thank her for that. I want to make sure she knows that,” Bartosz said during a recent Zoom interview from their Wheaton home.
Her husband’s sweet comments move Vujnic to tears.
“I think the aspect of the kids and, you know, just like any working parents, you know, I'm really trying to provide for both of the kids and it has definitely put a strain on me, pumping and working, trying to maintain cleanliness and trying to, I hope that if I contract the virus, I won’t pass it on to the baby,” Vujnic said, explaining her emotions.
Thankfully, the precautions appear to be working and no one in the family has gotten sick. Bartosz said he wants to know he appreciates his wife more than ever, ahead of Mother’s Day.
“My wife deserves to be honored for doing that, still showing up to work, without complaining and still being scared. She's always the first one to go into the room and help the patients,” Bartosz said.