2 local doctors forced to send children away to protect them from coronavirus

(WHDH) — A husband and wife on the frontline of the fight against the coronavirus pandemic in Massachusetts had to make the difficult decision to send their two young children to live with their grandparents in Texas in an effort to keep them safe from infection.

Brian Kendall is an Emergency Room physician at Holy Family Hospital in Methuen and his wife Brittany Bankhead-Kendall is a critical care doctor at Massachusetts General Hospital and both made the tough decision to continue working with their patients.

“Certainly never anticipated that the culmination of medical training would really lead us to a hotspot in the middle of a pandemic in the two busiest units in the hospital,” Bankhead-Kendall said.

They say the decision has allowed them to pour themselves even more into their work by picking up extra shifts and working late.

“We’ve been able to shift our framework and our care and devotion from being mom and dad to being full-time physicians right now,” she said.

They have even turned their home into a research office and say this is their medical calling.

“We’ve really utilized a lot of the things that we’ve learned throughout the years in dealing with patients and with our own mental and emotional stressor from the beginning,” Bankhead-Kendall said.

Now, they are doing whatever they can in their hospitals to help patients — whether it is physical treatment or emotional reassurance.

For them, the hardest part is being with a patient who is nearing the end of their life.

“You know I’m the last person potentially that that person could be seeing and talking to and it’s tough because you feel a huge world of responsibility,” Kendall said.

Despite all the difficult days, the couple said they believe social distancing is working and preventing a complete overload of the health care system.

“It’s the only tool that we have to fight this,” he said.

The two said they applied to medical school on their honeymoon and graduated from Ross University in 2013.

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