COVID-19: What My Eyes Have Seen

I saw people come together stronger than ever before, and rise up as champions to fight hard in a tough new war. More than 3,000 real-life heroes rallying together in our faithful tribe, fearlessly unwavering in a Mission to save lives. 

Hotlines set up in an instant, providers volunteering to take calls; phlebotomists, respiratory therapists working ridiculous hours to give it their all. Infection prevention deployed for what they trained for; nurses standing tall and strong, jumping in without hesitation when always asked for more.

Doctors putting aside boundaries, managers racing to where needed most; IT expanding a televisit platform, adapting functions for the sake of our coast. I saw the Finance team keep us afloat, Marketing maestros paving communication lines, and Human Resources preserving livelihoods in unprecedented times. 

A nurse becomes a social worker, navigator, and epidemiology expert – all in one; Materials Management and Surgery ensuring PPE was judiciously worn. The lab and its leader innovating with absolute undying persistence, conquerors in Support Services consistently working with valor. 

Drive-thru testing set up at every single clinic, every single day. When asked for anything, I saw everyone “Get to Yes” and find a way. The Singing River Core Value of Teamwork exemplified; I saw strong minds, smart actions, and fearless spirits in all of their eyes. 

I saw us help outside nursing homes without being asked, with the courage to do anything no matter how daunting the task. Pharmacy on the cutting edge and Central Sterile innovating daily, Environmental Services cleaning to the highest standards to operate safely. Review of testing and transfusions and intubation safety protocol, using every option on earth to save lives while constantly serving with heart and soul. 

I saw an ICU team leader sharing a testimonial that ripped out my heart, at the same time making me feel the Holy Spirit which never did depart. I watched folks help each other through that strong common bond we call humanity. We missed our family at home to save the world from an enemy. 

I remembered Isaiah’s words of God “Do not fear, for I am with you, I will strengthen you; I will help you, I will hold you with my righteous right hand” were true.  

I saw most of the world keeping its wits while the media was losing its mind. I saw a few snake-oil mask-salesmen at this vulnerable time. Often I saw people from every department do whatever they could, and overall I witnessed reason to believe most people are good.

I saw perfections and imperfections and opportunities to improve, but I mostly saw the Singing River Rock Stars doing what they do. I saw our people meet their calling, invincible in plastic capes with masks and face shields they were doffing and donning.

Feats of the “Justice League” Facilities Team like cutting holes in windows, converting more rooms to negative pressure for safety like true superheroes. Nurses from one facility going to another, a sacrifice that landed one getting the virus; praise God she weathered it well, praise her for putting others first, the definition of selfless.

Heartbreaking death in the battle a few times leaving on us more than a scar, but more often I saw salvation and I saw us winning this terrible war. Registrars taking temperatures and others doing jobs way outside their norm; our family everywhere was rising as heroes in true form. 

I saw grassroots community education go city to city, church to church, store to store; team members outside their scope of duties going door to door. Doctors and nurses came in on their days off, time and again through it all, like they were born for this from the day it started and through thousands of calls.

I saw the heroes of our team exercise their superpower talents, and in their favor, I saw them work hard to ultimately tip the balance. I witnessed true colors and gusto of every kind, fearless clinical soldiers going straight to the frontline. 

I saw a nurse in ICU take my friend’s hand as he was overcome by this monster so insane, he died in her arms and I had to share with his wife the ultimate pain. I witnessed how it discriminates by viciously hitting the vulnerable with its attack, how it unfairly affected the frail, and some already on a difficult track. 

I saw the ER, ICU, Med Surg, and Clinics fighting to beat the odds as one team, for some of the truly toughest straight days and nights I have ever seen. Lines between specialties blurred for a mission there was nothing above, I saw families place Hero signs in the yards of our team with love.

Honored to work with this team but underscored when it hit home, is the depth of our true family here is more than most have ever known. I saw a lot; I saw silver linings in the midst of tragedy every single day and night. I heard many voices with one sound knowing, “Everything‘s gonna be all right!” 

I walked through the valley of the shadow of death and feared no evil because God held it at bay. I saw threads of hope woven in the fabric of strength at work every single day. I knew we would fight, and I knew that in the end, we would win, but I must admit I got tired of it surging over and over again.

With American ingenuity in testing, drugs, and vaccines, CoViD’s strength decreased. I saw these as more arrows in our quiver to defeat this beast. There absolutely-positively will never be any way I can possibly thank our team enough for being the dedicated soldiers they are: Singing River Strong, gritty and tough. 

My respect for them is immeasurable – I truly love them. God bless them all. They did everything possible to win this war – at least that’s what I saw.

Lee Bond, Chief Executive Officer, Singing River Health System