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Houston nurse returns home for Mother’s Day after being on the frontlines of NYC’s coronavirus crisis

CONROE – Holly Benson is happy to be home after almost five weeks of working in a New York City hospital during the coronavirus outbreak. She arrived back Thursday and reunited with her husband and 4-year old daughter Ava just in time for Mother's day.

"She was excited and (she) said momma I got you a balloon," Benson said. "Since then, she's been a bit of a clinging vine."

The front line hero usually works at North Houston Family Medicine in Conroe. But like hundreds of healthcare professionals, she chose to go where the need was the greatest.

“It was a bit crazy in the hospitals. They had open up floors for COVID-19 patients,” said Benson. “You had the refrigerated trucks outside for the bodies, unfortunately.”

Benson compared the crisis in New York City to a war zone. But said the situation improved from wild to manageable before she left.

"I got to watch makeshift ICU'S close, (and) the refrigerated trucks were gone," she said.

Benson said hopes one day she'll be able to share her story with her daughter.

"I think in 10, 20 years we'll be able to look back and say I got to help out with the coronavirus, a historical pandemic," said Benson.

Benson is ready for the ordinary routines of life, but she cautions Texans to take it slow.

“I would encourage folks to be cautious. Don’t just think about yourself but the people you could be bringing it home too. Your loved ones, the elderly,” she said. “In New York City, I saw folks that weren’t just elderly susceptible fighting for their lives,”