KITCHENER -- A Kitchener nurse has extended her care to fellow staff at St. Mary's General Hospital during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"My first and foremost goal is to be there for the patients, and secondly to be there for the staff," said Melanie Drehmer. "That just takes over the shyness or anxiety I might have felt otherwise."

During the first wave of the pandemic, Drehmer put together care packages for fellow staff from her unit who were stuck at home due to the disease.

"She made porch, front door delivery," fellow nurse Crystal Kenzie said. "Dropped off front-line t-shirts, chocolate and made sure everyone got to see a friendly face when they were stuck in quarantine."

"It just made me want to cry," said Angela Schrum, project manager at St. Mary's Hospital. "It is just a thoughtful thing to do, a way of making people feel comfortable at home, making sure they haven't been forgotten."

That thoughtfulness also extended to staff working on the front lines during the first wave.

"She makes sure that we were all OK in the end, that we stuck through it," nurse Vanessa Goulart said.

Drehmer's attitude as a team player helped her colleagues at St. Mary's Hospital feel stronger together as cases continue to spike in the second wave.

"She's always there for us," Kenzie said. "She's the glue that holds us together."