A calling to fight for his country and COVID-19 patients

Sep 10, 2020


When Dorian Wu enlisted in the U.S. Marines in 2007, it was to answer a calling to fight for his country in the wake of the September 11th attacks. Now, a registered nurse in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at Adventist Health Hanford, Wu is fighting to keep COVID-19 patients alive, another calling he was motivated to answer.

“I think God put me on earth for a reason,” says Wu. “One of our purposes in life is to serve people who are not in good health and help them get better.”

Wu works alongside a team of ICU doctors and nurses to comfort patients by providing pain management, ventilator support and oral care to prevent hygiene-related illness.

“We have good teamwork at the hospital to do whatever is best for the patient and to help them connect with their families,” he says.

Before becoming a nurse, Wu served as a machine gunner during the Iraq War in 2009, when he was 23 years old. His primary mission as a machine gunner was to patrol and provide safety for the commanding officer. His vehicle was at the back of the convoy, but he never had to open fire. However, he does recall a time when shots were fired at him and his team.

“We were in an operating base close to Fallujah. The sun was going down and we were relaxing with our jackets off, playing cards. All of a sudden, we heard mortar rounds close to base. We jumped into our vehicles and rolled out in pursuit of those who opened fire on us,” recalls Wu.

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Dorian Wu pictured in back row, third from the right.

Before his seven-month tour ended, Wu received training in First aid. He enjoyed the training and the idea of saving lives that he used his GI Bill to attend nursing school. Wu graduated in 2015 and began his nursing career in the Medical-Surgical unit at a VA hospital in Palo Alto. Three years later, he was working in the ICU.

In 2018, Wu moved to Hanford with his wife, Karen, who was accepted into the Family Medicine Residency Program at Adventist Health in the Central Valley.

“When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, I wanted to help, so I picked up a per diem shift in the ICU at Hanford. It’s busy, but I love what I do,” he says. “I love seeing patients get better and I enjoy praying for them when I get home.”

Wu encourages community members to continue wearing face masks and practice physical distancing.

“I know it’s hard, but we must all do our part to slow down this virus,” he says.