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70-year-old former nurse signs up for COVID-19 fight

Posted at 5:49 PM, Apr 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-06 20:49:50-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - A 70-year-old, former nurse answering is Governor Newsom’s call for medical reinforcements.

"My mother was a nurse. My sister was a nurse. Medicine is in our blood," said Kris Higgins.

For more than two decades, Higgins toiled as a nurse, including 12 years in the Neuro-Intensive Care Unit at the hospital now known as Scripps Mercy - during the '70s and '80s.
As a nurse in San Diego, she trekked more than 150 miles south of Tijuana with a local group, once every month, to volunteer at a free clinic. Her desire to help continued to shine even after retiring some 30 years ago. After Hurricane Katrina, she made five trips to Louisiana, helping rebuild and assisting with medical care.

"I’ve always kept my license active for fear something like this could happen," said Higgins.

'This' of course is the pandemic now gripping our of all lives, including image of medical workers on the frontlines.

"It breaks my heart and I want to be there," said Higgins.

When Governor Newsom issued the call to recruit medical workers for a new program, the California Health Corps, Higgins - who owns a jewelry business - was listening.

"If you can just help out your fellow doctor, or nurse, or neighbor, that''s what we have to do," said Higgins.

She filled out the application and then sat on it for a few days.

"My friends said, 'You’re too old. You’re crazy.' They were mostly just concerned with age and health," said Higgins.

In the end, she became one of the more than 70,000 sign up.

"I just kept thinking that it’s something I have to do. It’s something I have to do," said Higgins.

Higgins says she has yet to be contacted. It's believed state officials in the process of vetting the applicants.