Chicago-area moms on the COVID-19 front lines celebrated this Mother's Day

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A caravan of tow trucks bearing gifts pulled up to a South Side home Sunday to honor a very special mother-daughter duo.

The caravan brought flowers, presents and money for groceries as a way to thank Leslie and Keanna Parker, who were both infected with COVID-19 while caring for their patients at a local nursing home.

Leslie Parker, 52, was hospitalized for nearly three weeks and is still on oxygen. Meanwhile, Keanna Parker had to send her own daughter away for several weeks, and only got to see her again Sunday.

"Thank you all so much. I truly appreciate it," Keanna Parker said Sunday. "I definitely love what I do, and my mom loves what she does. I was out for my two weeks on quarantine and went right back. My patients need me."

It's that dedication that is being celebrated across Chicago Sunday, an acknowledgement to all the mothers on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In Hyde Park, Operation Helping Heroes partnered with Soul Shack to provide free meals to health care workers who are still hard at work.

Dr. Betty Tran, a pulmonary and critical care physician at Northwestern Medicine, is one of those moms.

"We are doing 5-7 day stints in the ICU. Many times that includes shift work, so there is a night person as well to cover the ICU," Dr. Tran said.

Dr. Tran said her daughter celebrated her 4th birthday last week. She said their home life is different, and she's grateful for her husband who's been able to stay home.

"With working coronavirus units for the last several weeks, she has the routine down," Dr. Tran said about her daughter. "She knows that I come home and take a shower right away before we spend some time together."

Dr. Tran said she and all the other moms on the front lines are keeping their focus.

"We come in and we get the job done and we know, whenever this day is done, we get to celebrate with our families," she said.
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