“This was going to be over in three months, six months, nine months and now it is a year later, so we are still here. We are still fighting this virus. We are thankful to have vaccine and doing a lot of vaccinations,” said Anthony Powers, President of Baptist Health Corbin, during his welcome at the Baptist Health Corbin Employee Recognition event Feb. 3.
The hospital hosted a small ceremony where Corbin Mayor Suzie Razmus presented the hospital with a Celebration of Heroes Proclamation that stated that Feb. 3 was a Day of Recognition for the Heroes of Baptist Health Corbin.
“It’s hard to put into words how much the City of Corbin thanks each and every one of you that are giving it your all day after day after day. The sacrifices to your health – to your own health – to your family, the stress level,” said Razmus. “We can’t be any more proud that Baptist Health Corbin represents us in a way statewide – we are getting recognition – and that is because each and every one of you all that are here today.”
The proclamation details the progression of the Coronavirus worldwide and Baptist Health Corbin’s fight against it.
The proclamation ends, “The City of Corbin would like to recognize Baptist Health Corbin in this fight against COVID-19 for their relentless efforts in testing, vaccinating and providing the highest level of care to patients in our community who have been affected by the virus.”
During the event, a couple who both work at the hospital shared their experiences with COVID-19.
“In October, I came down with COVID and I guess like everyone else I thought I was going to be down for two weeks and then back to work again,” said Rick Russell, who has worked there for approximately 12 years in Radiology. “I ended up in the CCU and on a vent for 11 or 12 days, and it was a rocky road for me.”
“Because of the care that I got from the doctors and nurses here, I am here,” said Russell. “I don’t think I could have gotten better care anywhere. I am not just saying that because I work here. I really, really feel that way.”
Jo Linda Russell, a nurse in women’s care at Baptist Health Corbin, shared her perspective of COVID-19.
“When he [Rick] got sick, we were both in quarantine,” said Jo Linda Russell.
“Dropping him off at the ER and not even being able to go in there, and then having to go back home by myself and not even my children could be around me, it was one of the hardest things I have ever done.”
Jo Linda said she was comforted to know that Rick was being taken care of by staff at Baptist Health Corbin.
“I felt a peace knowing that I was leaving him here,” she said. “You don’t know the difference you make in people’s lives every single day.”
After returning to work, Jo Linda Russell said she remembers the time her husband was in the hospital.
“When I put on my N95 and all my stuff to go into my COVID rooms, I keep that in the back of my mind that I am taking care of somebody who I have to be their family for just a couple of days,” said Jo Linda Russell.
Following the Russells, Dr. Christopher Troxell, a hospitalist and the first physician at the hospital to be the ‘COVID’ doctor, said thank you to all of the nurses and staff.
“I just want to say thank you all for all that you’ve done,” said Troxell. “From a physician’s stand point we know that no matter what we do, putting orders in, that without you all carrying out those orders and being at the bedside far more than us, that we couldn’t take care of our patients. You don’t know how much we appreciate it.”
“I am really proud of our hospital,” he said. “I can’t say thank you enough.”
Nurses and staff were able to visit the cafeteria over the span of several hours to receive a special thank you and some refreshments.