While we all stay home during this time of quarantine, we are thankful for those who are on the frontlines battling COVID-19, especially those who are part of our Forever Orange family. These brave men and women include Jacqueline Davila and David Mendoza, season ticket members of the Houston Dynamo.
The two originally met down in Brownsville in the Rio Grande Valley while in school, where they both pursued the medical field together. After deciding to move post-externship to a big city – which happens to be Jacqueline’s hometown, Houston – the two of them were able to find jobs that allow them to pursue their dreams.
They both work in the medical field. Jacqueline is a front desk certified medical assistant, greeting patients, handling check-ins, phone calls, appointments, and payments at UT Physicians. David is a certified medical assistant at Texas Children’s Hospital where he assists doctors with patients who need yearly checkups and vaccines. As essential workers, their typical workday has shifted.
“Everyone has a question related to COVID or appointments being canceled due to COVID,” Jacqueline explained to HoustonDynamo.com. “Now we’re offering tele visits where [patients] are able to Facetime with a doctor in order to get refills on medications and also consult with the doctor.”
“We’re limiting the number of patients we’re taking. We’re just taking the kids that need their vaccines,” David, who is a medical assistant in pediatrics, shared. “The ones that are [very] sick – well, they send them to urgent care.”
In addition to working as a medical assistant, David is also a volunteer for COVID-19 testing. He is called in every few weeks to help administer the tests to those in need. Quite literally on the frontlines, David is responsible for assisting in executing the swab test and sending it off to the lab to confirm or deny the presence of COVID-19.
Despite knowing the risks, when he received the email asking for volunteers, David knew his answer right away.
“I really wanted to help more. I know it sounds kind of cliché,” David admitted with a laugh. “but that’s what I told [Jacqueline].”
He wasn’t even concerned about himself; David was more concerned about exposing his girlfriend, Jacqueline, who he lives with. For Jacqueline, she didn’t hesitate in her answer, she supports David in everything he does.
“We’re well taken care of, good protective gear,” David explained after his first volunteer shift. “I feel safe.”
For both David and Jacqueline, their choice to enter the medical field was heavily influenced by their experiences with their family. David’s father was in an accident that caused him to lose a leg, and watching the doctors and nurses help him inspired David to help in a similar manner. When his older sister went on to become a Registered Nurse, David immediately wanted to follow her footsteps.
“I said that’s really something I want to do,” David expressed. “I wanted to step up because that’s my soul purpose, to help others.”
Similarly, Jacqueline’s passion stemmed from her family. Her brother was a cancer patient and was treated at MD Anderson Cancer Center here in Houston.
“That really motivated me, seeing all the RNs and all of the nurses that came in. They were tremendous,” she said of the MD Anderson staff.
She makes it clear though that being a medical assistant is not her final career stop, “I do want to become an RN, that is my dream. I’m not done being just a medical assistant. So that’s definitely what’s motivating me.”
David and Jacqueline are relatively new to the Forever Orange family, becoming season ticket holders just before the 2020 season started. Jacqueline, growing up in Houston as a sports lover, had attended Dynamo games in the past. Once she started dating David they would make the six hour drive up from the RGV area to catch a game.
“I wasn’t really into a lot of MLS. I’m more into the Mexican league,” he explained. “I went to the game – I saw El Batallon and we both fell in love with the crowd, the fans. They actually live soccer here. It’s legitimate and I fell in love with it.”
Jacqueline joked it was only a matter of time after they moved to Houston that they’d become members.
David said, “If we make trips for six hours to see a Dynamo game, now that we’re here, let’s do it.”