By: Indigo Holtz – March 30, 2020
As I write this, our interconnected world has abruptly gone lights out. We are staying at home to distance ourselves from each other to defeat an invisible virus that has ambushed every facet of our society.
While each of our lives have been interrupted by this pandemic, some find themselves on the frontlines. Medical professionals all over the globe are diligently working around the clock to treat patients, save lives and find treatments to combat this treacherous foe called COVID-19. Currently, there are over a half a million active COVID-19 cases worldwide. Hospitals in heavily hit areas are not prepared to handle this caseload of patients. It is truly a dark time for many, as hospitals remain crowded and beds and staff become scarce.
Thankfully, some organizations have invested years of resources and preparation in bringing light during the darkest of times. One key organization that is making a significant impact in aiding medical assistance during this COVID-19 outbreak is Samaritan’s Purse. Based in Boone, North Carolina, Samaritan’s Purse has been on the frontlines of our world’s disasters for the past 50 years providing physical and spiritual aid, personnel, resources and relief to those in dire need. So, when COVID-19 became a pandemic, Samaritan’s Purse immediately responded.
As Italy was forecasted to surpass China with both cases and deaths from COVID-19, Samaritan’s Purse deployed a relief team of medical professionals to assist with patient care. They partnered with a hospital in Cremona, a city in Lombardy’s virus-stricken region of Italy. Samaritan’s Purse flew in a mobile medical unit with 68 beds, including 10 ICU beds, which reached capacity within 24 hours of the hospital’s opening. They also took a team of refreshed doctors and nurses to care for the sick while bringing light, hope, and faith by praying for their patients and doing their best to represent Christ while at work.
The mobile hospital has now been running in Italy for about a week, during which time the United States began to see more and more people start to test positive for COVID-19. As the United States surpassed Italy and China with the most recorded cases in the world, a new need arose. On March 28th, Samaritan’s Purse deployed a 2nd Emergency Field Hospital to New York City, which is in the state where currently nearly half of the United States’ positive COVID-19 patients reside. The need is great in New York City, with just around 20% of people who are testing positive for the virus needing hospitalization. While this is the first time in history that this organization has been running two hospitals at once, Samaritan’s Purse is determined to do their part to help during this world crisis. In a statement posted on their website, the organization’s President, Franklin Graham, stated, “people are dying from the coronavirus, hospitals are out of beds, and the medical staff are overwhelmed. We are deploying our Emergency Field Hospital to New York to help carry this burden. This is what Samaritan’s Purse does-we respond in the middle of crises to help people in Jesus’ name…”
Samaritan’s Purse is accepting applications for licensed healthcare workers who would like to volunteer their time and skills to treat those ill from this pandemic. For more information, please visit the link below: