Coronavirus kindness: South Bay nurse says fostered kittens saved her life while self-quarantining after COVID-19 exposure

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Saturday, May 9, 2020
Nurse says fostered kittens saved her while quarantining after COVID-19 exposure
Diane Foxen is a registered nurse working on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic. In her little free time after working 16 hour shifts, she is fostering cats with the Humane Society of Silicon Valley.

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- People are stepping up above and beyond the call of duty right now to give back during the coronavirus pandemic.

This includes a South Bay woman who is finding ways to help humans and animals alike

RELATED: Bay Area animal shelters ramping up foster programs amid coronavirus pandemic

Diane Foxen is what you would call, "a hero".

Not only is she a registered nurse at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center and El Camino Hospital working in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, but she's also fostering kittens.

"I like helping those that are less fortunate and can't help themselves," Foxen said. "It gives you a good feeling. It lets you know that you've done something good at the end of the day to make the world a little bit better."

She has fostered hundreds of kittens with the Humane Society of Silicon Valley (HSSV) since 2012 and worked with the Town Cats of Morgan Hill before that.

Her specialty now is cats with ring-worm, which require even more attention on top of the stresses of fighting on the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis.

RELATED: Bay Area animal shelters urge pet owners to prepare emergency plan amid COVID-19 crisis

Foxen faces long hours, little interaction and more of a risk for sickness.

She even had a scare of contracting the coronavirus recently.

"I had a possible exposure so I sheltered in place in my bathroom," Foxen said. "I was sheltering to just to stay away from my sister in case I was going to become sick or asymptomatically contagious. Coming home and not being able to visit with my sister, working sixteen hour shifts and not having anyone to talk to was really hard."

She slept on a bed on the floor in her master bathroom.

She felt alone, but she wasn't.

The same kittens that she works so hard to save, saved her.

"I slept in there with them and loved on them while they loved on me," Foxen said. "They say that nurses are heroes and doctors are heroes, and these little kittens have been my heroes more often than not. They've helped me get through really hard days. They've helped me as much as I've helped them."

RELATED: How to combat post-quarantine separation anxiety in dogs once coronavirus pandemic subsides

Thank you for Building a Better Bay Area, Diane.

HSSV's volunteers and fosters, like Diane, fostered more than 3,800 animals last year.

To help give back during this difficult time, visit the Humane Society of Silicon Valley's website here.

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