CHRISTUS Ochsner holds ceremony commemorating COVID-19′s one year anniversary

VIDEO: CHRISTUS Ochsner Health Southwestern Louisiana honors frontline associates, COVID patients

LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - In recognizing the one-year mark of the COVID-19 pandemic, CHRISTUS Ochsner Health Southwestern Louisiana is hosting events to mark the significance of the last year and the ongoing battle against COVID-19.

Friday, the health system recognized the 121 lives lost to the virus at their hospitals, in addition to its team members who have continued to place themselves in harm’s way fighting the virus in our community.

”These roses to my left are representative of 121 mothers, fathers, grandmothers, grandfathers, brothers, sisters and so on, " said Joy Huff-Martin

Having served as a vital line of communication for patients and their families at the height of the pandemic, Father Brian King reflected on his role and how much it has evolved over the last year.

”Since the families could not come in; oftentimes it was difficult to get communication between families and patients,” said King.

Fast forward one year later, and he says the process has significantly improved.

”Unfortunately, we’ve had several situations where husbands and wives were both at the unit, and they both passed. Being able to be present to those children in the midst of that, it’s an honor.”

Now, with three federally approved vaccines and numerous COVID-19 treatments, nurses like Sheila Chandler say they can look to the future with confidence.

”I hope that we get to a day when people are all vaccinated that we don’t have to wear masks all the time. My hope overall is that we find a way to eradicate it,” Chandler said.

Monday, March 15, as part of the Grace Gardens Wall Dedication and Blessing Ceremony, a memorial brick will be placed on the wall to honor frontline associates who continue to battle against COVID-19. Several Associates will be present for the special dedication, however, this year’s event isn’t open to the public.

The Garden Wall is dedicated each year in honor of the Southwest Louisiana community and CHRISTUS Ochsner St. Patrick Hospital’s anniversary.

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