BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – In 2020, Paul Douzat spent eight weeks away from his family while working in a COVID-19 unit at the hospital. Looking back, the experience gave him a different outlook.
The Baton Rouge General Registered nurse said from the beginning it felt like he was in a horror movie.
“It was miserable, I’m laughing but I’m trying not to cry about it, but yeah it was a horrible experience. I wouldn’t wish that on anybody,” said Douzat.
One year later, he’s reflecting about how quickly life can change.
“A lot has happened in the past year where it got me thinking family is number one. You never know what can happen these days. I’m just trying to spent everyday I can with my wife and my kids,” said Douzat.
His four-year-old son Declan has a weak immune system and Douzat said as hard as it was being away from family he knew that was the only way to protect them.
“Everything is much better for us,” said Douzat.
He said it’s still kind of risky, but not so much now that he’s not directly working with Covid patients all day.
Douzat spoke to us while taking a break in the lobby of BRG’s Bluebonnet Campus on Friday. The hospital set up a special event for fathers like Douzat, serving popcorn and allowing them to shoot hoops.
He said this Father’s Day is special because he gets to be with those he loves.
“Quality time with your family is something you can’t put a prize on,” said Douzat.
He said, he and his wife are now vaccinated and Declan is making strides with his health with family members right by his side.
For Douzat, the journey has opened his eyes to what matters most.
“I really, really encourage everyone to take this time this weekend and from then on out, because you really never know when tragedy can strike and I don’t want to be so dark about it, but after seeing what we seen — don’t take life for granted,” said Douzat.