NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - Thousands of miles from Wuhan, China, where the coronavirus death toll is spiking, a Vanderbilt doctor has faith in her former colleagues.

“Now, I feel optimistic,” Dr. Katty Kong said. “I feel the situation is gradually under control. I trust the medical team there.”

Kang worked at the hospital at the epicenter of the outbreak 25 years ago, and is native to the Hubei province of China. She keeps in close touch with her friends there now.

“I call them every day because I have so many friends,” she said. “I really appreciate those doctors and nurse that are fighting at the front lines. They’re working so hard. They really don’t care for themselves.”

She said doctors and nurses in Wuhan are spending 24 hours a day, seven days a week at the hospital, going without breaks for hours, to conserve resources. “You have goggle, you have mask, you have protective suit. Some people don’t eat or drink for almost eight hours, because whenever you go to bathroom, you have to change.”

“That kind of dedication and love to patients just amaze me,” Kang said. “So many times I’m in tears. I feel they are [superheroes] to me.”

Kang’s family was on vacation on an island south of China when the outbreak began. They are waiting on word from the government to go home. is now with you on the go! Get the latest news updates and video, 4WARN weather forecast, weather radar, special investigative reports, sports headlines and much more from News4 Nashville.

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