People in McAlester showed their support for healthcare workers with candles and car honks Friday evening at the McAlester Regional Health Center.
Healthcare workers like Chief Nursing Officer Kim Stout at McAlester Regional Health Center said they feel like they've been walking in darkness for more than a year.
“Not just physically fatigued, they’re mentally fatigued, and their hearts are broken. They see way more death than they ever anticipated," Stout said.
They've witnessed firsthand a pandemic that's stolen the light from millions of people across the world, but Friday night there was a new glow.
“The light of the end of the tunnel is very far off, its very small. I feel like it’s there, but it’s small," said ICU Charge Nurse Jocelyn Newton. "So, tonight when people gather, it gives us the positive side that maybe people are in fact supporting us."
Newton said that spark comes from the community, who've shown up to say, 'We care.' It also brightens the day of the patients behind these windows who are going through some of their darkest moments.
“This is the opportunity for the entire community to come out and recognize them. It makes us all feel better to know the community is behind us and supporting us," Stout said.
“A show of support from the community like this, it’s invaluable. I can’t tell you what it means, it’s amazing," Newton said.
The hospital did something similar last year at the peak of the pandemic.
They hope by next year, they'll have reached the light at the end of the tunnel.