The bosses of one New Jersey emergency room technician probably would have understood if she missed her shift the day after Hurricane Sandy struck. But she was so determined to make it in that she swam part of the way to work.
"Can’t' isn’t in my vocabulary, so I knew I was going to make it," Marsha Hedgepeth told NBC News.
Hedgepeth had a 3 p.m. shift at Community Medical Center on October 30, the day after Hurricane Sandy left her neighborhood in Toms River, N.J. dark and flooded, NBC New York reported. When she peered outside, 10 ft. waves had surged in, and the streetlights were out.
At sunrise, Hedgepeth set out. Dressed in jeans and sneakers, a scarf, hat and mittens, she dove into the flood and swam about 200 yards -- the equivalent of about four lengths of an Olympic-sized swimming pool, according to Inquisitr.
"I dove into water, and I couldn't see the steps I was walking down because they were covered in water," she said. "So I said the easiest way to get there is just swim until I reach the ground."
After navigating through debris and dragging her scrubs along with her in a plastic bag, she reached land. A group of utility workers approached her.
"They asked me where I was going, and I said, 'the emergency room,'" Hedgepeth told USA Today.
The workers asked if she needed medical care. No, she replied. She was going to work.
She hitched a ride with them and arrived at the hospital six hours before her shift began.
"To suffer such a tragedy and have to endure the extreme weather we had experienced on the Jersey Shore that day -- we can't say enough of how proud we are of her and that she is safe," said Teri Kubiel, administrative director at Community Medical Center.
Hedgepeth insists she's the type to show up to her job, even if safety risks might arise that day.
"In hindsight, would I do it again? No. Would I always make it to the hospital to do my shift? Absolutely."