ST. LOUIS – For the first time, Mercy Hospital allowed cameras into their ICUs and COVID floors. We are not allowed to show the faces of those suffering from symptoms. But we did speak with those healthcare workers taking care of them.
Mercy Hospital South had been hit hard with COVID-19 patients. Approximately 110 of them were there on Monday. Healthcare workers discuss the battles they faced every day and the tragedies they experienced.
In 28 years of being a respiratory therapist, Jeanine Celestine never thought she would see spouses dropping off COVID-positive spouses and touching them for the final time.
“They’re older. We know it’s the last time they will see them,” she said. “They say ‘goodbye’ to spouse after being married for 50 years at their bed side.”
Dr. Laura Adam, the medical director of critical care at Mercy Hospital South, says if she is taking care of 14 patients at a time, it doubles a patient’s mortality rate. Plus, there have been days she says she has taken care of 25 patients.
“We don’t have all the messages and cards and meals and everything that was provided to us when we were superheroes in March,” she said. “Now, we’re just people who come to work every day in middle of pandemic that a lot of people deny is a problem.”
Nurses like Kevin Walsh hope people understand why families can’t be in the hospital with loved one who have COVID, except for end-of-life situations. Because it’s difficult for the nurses to watch all that is going on as well.
Dr. Adam encourages anyone, if they know a healthcare worker, to please tell them you support them and appreciate them because the increase in COVID cases is taking its toll on every worker.