A team of nurses in a COVID-19 unit at UofL Jewish Hospital came together for a ceremony to honor patients who passed away from complications of COVID-19.According to hospital officials, the 7 Towers unit lost its 29th patient on Wednesday. This is only one of several units dedicated to coronavirus at UofL Jewish Hospital.“There was one week where we lost a person every day”, said Brittany Dawson, CNA in 7 towers. Nurses from 7 Towers gathered on a roof patio for a “rock cleansing ceremony.” As part of the memorial, they wrote the initials of each patient they lost on a rock, said a few words and placed the rocks inside a vase of water. At the end, a nurse poured that water over plants at the hospital.“It was really windy outside,” said Amber Stull, CNA. “Then, it was a calmness that took over. It was really moving.”During the emotional ceremony, nurses held hands and comforted each other, much like they’ve done with patients suffering from COVID-19 since March.“I didn’t even know that I needed to cry so much until that happened,” said Dawson.The nurses honored the patients for putting up a tough fight with the deadly virus and in many instances having to do so alone.“We’re holding their hand as they take their last breath,” said Stull. “They don’t have anybody. They’re alone and you can see that they’re alone and scared.”Now, the nurses must continue their own daily fight as the pandemic continues and the number of cases and deaths from COVID-19 climb.“It’s emotionally draining. We’re doing everything we can here,” said Shona Neal Smith, RN. “Usually you go home physically drained. This is that times five, sometimes 10.”Even with their grueling jobs, the nurses say they’ll never give up because their patients need them now more than ever. “We didn’t come into this career to be scared of doing our jobs,” said Dawson. “If we don’t do it, who else is going to do it? Who else is going to take care of these patients?”The team will keep the case of rocks on the 7 Towers unit and will sadly, continue to add to it.

A team of nurses in a COVID-19 unit at UofL Jewish Hospital came together for a ceremony to honor patients who passed away from complications of COVID-19.

According to hospital officials, the 7 Towers unit lost its 29th patient on Wednesday. This is only one of several units dedicated to coronavirus at UofL Jewish Hospital.

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“There was one week where we lost a person every day”, said Brittany Dawson, CNA in 7 towers.

Nurses from 7 Towers gathered on a roof patio for a “rock cleansing ceremony.” As part of the memorial, they wrote the initials of each patient they lost on a rock, said a few words and placed the rocks inside a vase of water. At the end, a nurse poured that water over plants at the hospital.

“It was really windy outside,” said Amber Stull, CNA. “Then, it was a calmness that took over. It was really moving.”

During the emotional ceremony, nurses held hands and comforted each other, much like they’ve done with patients suffering from COVID-19 since March.

“I didn’t even know that I needed to cry so much until that happened,” said Dawson.

The nurses honored the patients for putting up a tough fight with the deadly virus and in many instances having to do so alone.

“We’re holding their hand as they take their last breath,” said Stull. “They don’t have anybody. They’re alone and you can see that they’re alone and scared.”

Now, the nurses must continue their own daily fight as the pandemic continues and the number of cases and deaths from COVID-19 climb.

“It’s emotionally draining. We’re doing everything we can here,” said Shona Neal Smith, RN. “Usually you go home physically drained. This is that times five, sometimes 10.”

Even with their grueling jobs, the nurses say they’ll never give up because their patients need them now more than ever.

“We didn’t come into this career to be scared of doing our jobs,” said Dawson. “If we don’t do it, who else is going to do it? Who else is going to take care of these patients?”

The team will keep the case of rocks on the 7 Towers unit and will sadly, continue to add to it.

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