Oologah Congregation Prays For Meningitis Victims & Families
By Jeffrey Smith, The News On 6
OOLOGAH, OK -- The Oologah community has come together in prayer following a deadly meningitis outbreak last week.
Two elementary children have died -- 7-year-old Andrew Thomas and 9-year-old Shuache Moua. Four others, ages eight or younger, are in the Children's Hospital at Saint Francis in Tulsa.
Andrew Thomas attended youth class every Wednesday night at the Oologah Assembly of God. His pastor says she can't believe he's gone.
"There's still a lot of shock," said Debra Henry, Youth Pastor. "It's almost like, is this really happening or are we going to wake up from a bad dream."
Henry's two daughters go to the Oologah-Talala Lower Elementary School. Both of her kids received antibiotics at the school's gym on Friday.
She says the sudden deaths of two young children during the meningitis outbreak hits her as a pastor and also as a parent.
"It's just tragic because (Andrew Thomas) was so young, because he had his whole future and his whole life ahead of him, and now that's gone," said Henry.
About 100 people attended Sunday services at Oologah Assembly of God. It's the first worship since the deadly outbreak. Many parents remember Andrew from his time in Royal Rangers, a worldwide ministry of the Assemblies of God.
"When you have children of your own, it just breaks your heart," said Marla Schiele, an Oologah parent.
As four children are still fighting for their lives, worshippers say they are in their prayers.
"Yeah, it hurts. Knowing someone that close, it really hits home, whenever someone you know personally is affected by such a tragic disease," said Justin Henry, Youth Pastor.
Andrew's funeral is set for 2 p.m. Monday at the Owasso Church of Christ.