Further outbreaks of the virus are causing problems for a Louisiana hospital

SHREVEPORT, La. (AP) – Lauren Debroeck is slowly approaching her husband’s face, hoping it may be the day she wakes up in about a month.

Debroeck has a good haircut every morning because she wants him to look at her and know that, even though she has wires and tubes around the hospital bed, everything is fine.

“I love you so much,” she whispers as she rubs the forehead of the 36-year-old.

Debroeck was also admitted to the third room from her husband in a fight with COVID-19 earlier this month, and whenever she heard alarms from a medical machine or someone breathing hard in the house, nurses rushed to reassure her that she was not ‘Michael’s beloved.

“I want them to look at us and see what we’re doing,” Debroeck said. “Even if we split up.”

Observing near the bed is playing at Shreveport Hospital filled with patients from all over Louisiana, Texas and Arkansas as well as many medical staff, who express their cries on the way to work and faint and hear the zipper of bags and send dead patients to funeral homes. About 120 patients at Willis-Knighton Medical Center with 138 coronaviruses are not vaccinated, including Debroecks.

Michael was opposed to the COVID-19 vaccine. Lauren didn’t have time.

“I had an appointment with them three times and I stopped because I was so busy,” he said.

Nursing Coordinator Beth Springer recalls how, last month, the ICU movement was almost straightforward. Now the plague appears to be worse than ever before.

“I look so sad. I see a lot that I never thought I could do in my career, ”says Springer, who has been a nurse for almost 20 years.

At the beginning of the epidemic, social workers in Willis-Knighton hung an angel of paper on the wall whenever they lost a person infected with the virus. But as the months progressed and the dead came up from many knees, the spectacles became a nightmare for paramedics to watch for an hour.

Willis-Knighton’s Chief Nursing Officer, Denise Jones, bursts into tears as she explains how she exchanged with the angels with beautiful paper posters hung over the road – all to comfort the staff who locked up the underprivileged patients and carried cell phones so families could talk to their loved ones. patients.

“We’re looking at everything we can do to make our employees feel happier every day because there is so little going on right now,” Jones said.

Certified Nurse Melinda Hunt works six or seven days a week, waking up in the morning. He opens a Disney video as he prepares.

But the escape is temporary. Her eyes filled with tears as she drove into the car early in the morning. Hunt, 24, decided to become a nurse at the age of 6 and saw compassionate and talented professionals helping his younger brother with leukemia.

The hunt was fun and boring. But now she feels tired and tired. Coworkers notice a change and sometimes ask her if she is OK or if she wants to take a break.

“I don’t feel like I can breathe because we don’t have nurses already,” she said.

By the time Hunt arrives at the infectious disease hospital around 6:30 a.m., he bursts into tears and exhaustion. There are COVID-19 patients who need his honesty and compassion.

“These patients ask me, ‘Am I going to die?’ And I do not want to tell anyone that he is going to die, “Hunt said.

Inside Willis-Knighton, plastic sheets separate the reception area so that COVID-19 patients can isolate themselves when tested.

The houses are filled with medical equipment and the nurses and doctors with protective toes from one room to another.

But the busy schedule is a reminder that when things seem to be going well again, the epidemic has returned.

In July, the number of patients in the COVID-19 hospital was the same number. Now, over 100.

“It simply came to our notice then. That’s how it grows and spreads so fast, “says Springer, a hospital administrator.

Jones, the hospital’s superintendent, and tired nurses come to his office every day.

“Just imagine the stress of knowing that I don’t know if I can do this one day, another hour, but if I don’t come tomorrow no one will take care of this patient. “No one here can pick up the phone and let them talk to their families for the last time before we put a tube in them,” Jones said.

“I feel powerless and defeated as a leader so I can’t help them too much.”

ICU Superintendent Nurse Cheryl Thomas feels compelled to play a role in comforting the dying.

“I can’t let anyone die on their own,” he said, lamenting how the restrictions on HIV mean that many members are unable to go to visit someone.

He admits that it is a daily burden. But that is why he chose the profession. “Because I care.”

Underneath the videos that replaced the written angels, Hunt hugs a woman whose 70-year-old sister died a few minutes ago, four days after she had a COVID-19 show.

After hugging, Hunt joined the second nurse who called for the funeral and quietly closed the white bag with the dead woman inside. A green dress is laid on the stretcher and nurses are expected to remain anonymous as they move the body up the stairs and into the first room of the hospital.

“I don’t think anyone ever told me I was taking the bodies to the dock,” nurse Kristen Smith said as she went to board the harbor to meet the funeral attendant.

“I feel like I’m in a trance,” Hunt said.


Jeffrey Collins of Columbia, South Carolina, co-sponsored the report.

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