Parking-lot vigil honors hospital workers as they battle pandemic

Dozens of horns blasted and headlights shown for more than 15 minutes at 8 p.m. Wednesday in the parking lot of Integris Canadian Valley Hospital in Yukon.

Two girls hold the signs they made to thank caregivers during a parking lot gathering Wednesday. Photo / Chris Eversole

The sound may have been discordant, but it was oh so sweet to the employees inside – and the assembled community members who showed their support for hospital workers in their battle against coronavirus.
The turnout surprised her, said Christina Davis, who organized the outpouring through postings on several social media sites.
“I didn’t expect that many,” she said. “I want to thank everyone for showing up.”
And show up they did, starting with a trickle around 7:30 p.m. and snarling the search for parking space from 7:45 p.m. on.
Kids poked their heads through sunroofs and stood on the beds of pickups to get a better view as the setting sun colored the sky while the American flag highlighted the hospital’s wall.
Several hospital staff members emerged from the lobby to capture the moment on their cellphones.
Davis said she organized the event because she had seen similar expressions of gratitude at larger hospitals on TV.
“It’s really important to do something for our local hospital,” she said.
She appreciates the sacrifices that caregivers make because she is a nurse’s aide, she said.
Judy Kellogg chose to honor the hospital staff because her two daughters are in health care.
Daughter Sarah is completing a nursing degree at the University of Oklahoma, meeting her final requirements doing medical assessments online.
Grace, her other daughter, works as an X-ray tech at Integris Southwest Medical Center in Oklahoma City.
“She tells me about how she X-rays of patients with coronavirus and how the damage sets on the bottom of their lungs for five days,” Kellogg said.
Integris Canadian Valley President Teresa Gray said she got word that something was being planned.
“I was very surprised by the extent of it,” she said.
“It was so uplifting to receive the showing of support – people recognizing we’re all in this together.”
Davis received messages throughout Thursday, including one from a nursing technician at the hospital.
“Thank you for showing such love to our staff, to our patients, and wishing us the very best from today into the future,” it read.
“It was such a beautiful moment to see everybody come together like that and pray to God for pure strangers.
“I’ve never seen anything like that, and it was amazing to witness.
“May God bless you in all that you do!”

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