Former Holy Cross and McNeese QB James Tabary now working COVID-19 front lines in New Orleans

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McNeese quarterback James Tabary #4
(Photo: Dennis Babineaux/McNeese Athletics)

NEW ORLEANS – Like many people around the world, former McNeese record-setting quarterback James Tabary is living the COVID-19 pandemic nightmare in more ways than one.

On March 30, Tabary’s grandfather passed away after contracting the deadly disease just three days prior. No family or friends were allowed to be with him when he passed.

“The entire time he was sick we couldn’t visit him or talk to him. It was pretty tough,” said Tabary. “He lived in an assisted living home and he self-quarantined to prevent from contracting the virus, yet still did.

“It’s that serious. It’s all fun and games and chill and laid back until it happens to a family member that your care about.”

Tabary currently works at University Medical Center in New Orleans, which has the highest per-capita coronavirus death rate in America. UMC has the only Level 1 Trauma Center in the region and has taken on a big percentage of those infected with the virus.

James Tabary

Tabary’s job is to distribute inventory to all doctors and nurses and whatever they need to take care of the patients. That includes all PPE materials (Personal Protective Equipment). PPEs include gloves, masks, face shields, goggles, shoe or boot covers, gowns, and many more items.

“I’m just doing what I can to help the cause to this problem,” said Tabary. “What’s really been the most eye-opening thing the last few weeks working there has been the reactions of doctors and nurses when they receive their PPEs is the craziest thing I’ve ever seen in my life.

“Their reaction to receiving just gloves and masks is like they’re receiving gold. That’s how hectic it is out here in New Orleans. I can’t even give some nurses the type of masks that they want because doctors need it to go in to treat patients. Or vice versa.

“I can’t give everybody what they want and that’s what kills me. But when they receive what they want, they act like it’s gold.

“It’s truly amazing to me that we’re living through this right now.”

James Tabary

Tabary suffered a family tragedy due to this virus, now he’s working on the front lines in New Orleans in one of America’s hot spots helping those who are working hard to save the lives of those infected with the disease so those family members don’t have to endure the pain he and his family has.

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