For local doctor, protecting her family means she can’t see them

Dr. Andrea Krause, left, son, Drew, and husband Andy Krause shared a happy moment March 6 when Drew had his port removed, signifying the end of his cancer treatment. (Photos Special to The Record)

Dr. Andrea Krause, a physician at Norton Healthcare, is no stranger to disorienting medical scenarios. In times of uncertainty, she said she relies on her medical training and Catholic faith to guide her.

In mid-March she made the difficult decision to isolate herself from her family for fear of spreading COVID-19 to them.

The deciding factor was Krause’s immuno-compromised six-year-old son, Drew. The St. Agnes School first-grader recently completed chemotherapy for acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

While she stays in a vacant rental property the family owns, Krause’s husband, Andy, manages distance learning with Drew and his eight-year-old sister, Amelia, while also working from home.

One of the easier aspects of the coronavirus pandemic for the Krause family has been self-quarantine.

“When Drew was first diagnosed, we spent the first nine months in self-isolation. Our house was on lock down,” she said.

When Drew was at his sickest, Krause said she relied on her faith for strength. Now, she again turns to faith as she carefully dons scrubs, gowns, face masks, gloves and more at the beginning of each shift.

“Prayer has always centered me. Prayer has played a role for me all along.

“My faith grounds me. I guess it’s now that my prayers are more focused on all-encompassing heal-

ing for our country, our world,” she said.

Instead of focusing on the depressing thought of spending her non-working moments away from her family, she said she decided to view that as her way of protecting them.

“Whenever I decided to separate from Andy and the kids, that decision was out of protection and knowing that things would eventually be okay, knowing that God would protect us. That made the decision easier,” she said.

“I have to work really closely with my interns and medical students and I work one-on-one with my residents. If I have it, I’m going to spread it to these people I’m working with and vice versa. It’s nearly impossible to keep six-feet distance when you are working that closely,” said Krause, who also holds an academic position with the University of Louisville’s Department of Pediatrics, where she instructs interns.

She is currently off service and not seeing patients because of a planned vacation that was canceled because of the pandemic. For now, she is able to see her family.

Projections released by Gov. Andy Beshear’s office predict a surge of COVID-19 cases in Kentucky occurring in early May — data that Krause is also seeing in the medical community.

“The data is there,” she said. “Things will get worse before they get better,” she said.

Krause implores people to heed the guidelines set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and the governor’s office — to stay home if at all possible and to practice social distancing when going out.

“I have a sense of hope that this will get better. I always have to be hopeful,” she said.

Drew Krause, a first-grader at St. Agnes School, prayed for his mother, Dr. Andrea Krause. Krause, who is a physician at Northon Healthcare, self-isolated from her family to prevent the risk of infection.

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