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A caring heart on the front line

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Aaron Giles is a native of the Lone Star State. “I was born in Lubbock … on campus, actually, yet never became a Red Raider fan,” Giles said.

Finishing up their education at the time of his birth, once the diplomas were awarded, his parents went to work. Soon, Mobil Oil transferred his father to Naperville, Illinois, just 20 miles outside Chicago.

“This is where I grew up and received my own education,” he said. “I have to say, it was terrible to see the Chicago Bears play so bad for so many years.”

After starting his own family of two boys, Giles journeyed to New Mexico.

“After my marriage of 12 years ended, I moved to Ruidoso to heal,” he said. “This is when I began to change my focus in respect to my career path. It was a complete turnaround, in fact. First, I volunteered at the fire department and eventually did the work and got the education that allowed me to be both a fireman and an EMT.”

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Staying in Ruidoso for six years, Giles not only successfully did double-duty as fireman and EMT, he also worked in Alamogordo on a 9-1-1 truck. At the same time, his personal life began to thrive.

“When I remarried, we moved here to Roswell 12 years ago,” he said. “My mind remained steadfastly focused on the medical profession, and I now currently work at both Kymera Independent Physicians, as well as Presbyterian Hospital in Ruidoso on Saturdays.”

Some in Roswell see Giles as their very own nurse because of his professionalism and dedication.

“It’s true that I’ve been referred to by patients as their ‘nurse,’ although I should clarify that my title is actually EMT-I,” he said.

As the job title suggests, this is an intermediate emergency medical technician that requires more advanced training than the certified first responder. Giles feels the job is a perfect fit.

“I love being a part of peoples’ lives, helping in a small way toward getting them to better health,” he said. “I have developed many friendships seeing patients come in to Kymera for the past few years.”

Looking back on what first drew him to the medical profession, Giles said, “When my life-changing event of getting a divorce occurred, and I moved to Ruidoso, I was thinking … OK, I’m literally starting over in this little town and I want to start over with my working path as well. I wanted to help people by showing them love and support. I wanted to be there when they’re not at their best — or, God forbid, about to pass away — in order to add some comfort and kindness to their days.

“In addition, the relationships I have been lucky enough to create with patients and my co-workers at Kymera are sincerely dear to me,” he said. “I absolutely love working there.”

Being one of the heroes on the front lines of the pandemic, Giles spoke about the changes COVID-19 has brought to both the medical industry and the world.

“The pandemic has transformed the globe in such a hurry,” he said. “Our owner at Kymera, Dr. (Masoud) Khorsand, actually saw the virus coming to the states and just how serious it was going to be. We have had to adjust our way of taking care of our patients. Thank goodness attention and care are being given to the elderly in senior homes, as well as in-home care, and being able to stay safe by staying inside, like the rest of us.

“With our patients, we check temperatures throughout the day, always wear appropriate protective gear and equipment, and have even built an isolation area for the truly ill,” Giles said. “This way, people coming in with COVID can be separated from the other patients.”

He and his colleagues have endured tough work schedules while working in this unique and frightening time.

“We are all tired, working long hours and, like the rest of the world, constantly hoping that we can come back to some type of normalcy fairly soon,” Giles said. “We have lost patients to COVID, which hurts deeply, and it is difficult for all of us to see. We are truly looking forward to the vaccine in order to slow down this ‘monster.’

“Another profoundly serious way the pandemic has negatively affected our workforce is when it comes to moms who work at Kymera,” he said. “They’ve had to go part-time due to their own kiddos having to stay out of school. There is no one to care of them, help them with their schoolwork, or give them that nudge to concentrate harder and stick to learning, like their normal school schedule would provide. So, these amazing moms have had to be ‘on call’ for that incredibly important job.”

When Giles looks toward the future, he does see positivity on the horizon, yet remains diligent in reminding everyone of the things we really need to do on a daily basis in order to bid COVID goodbye.

“Although I think the world is moving forward, and we all are well aware of this virus and what it can do, now is not the time to be lackadaisical in any way,” he said. “Anything and everything must be done; the simplest things, like washing your hands often, always wearing a mask in public … and adhering to the social distancing rule, are absolutely necessary.

“And, yes, I know that we are independent and do not want to be told what to do, but these things are so easy and essential,” Giles said.

He said he has a message for Roswell to think of others and help everyone get through this pandemic.

“We will get through this. We will. And … we will never forget it. We will never forget how this virus changed our lives — from the poor kids losing many things that they enjoy, like spending time with their friends in school and having those days of fun and learning, to the people we have lost because of this terror. I want to say to Roswell that we are all in this side-by-side. So, on a daily basis, let’s all think of our neighbors, the elderly, the sick — everyone.

“By doing that, we can help each other get through this and focus on the much happier days that are ahead.”

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