Memorial birch tree planted at AHN Saint Vincent to honor those lost to COVID-19

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It was an emotional tribute by staff at AHN Saint Vincent Hospital on Friday, paying respect to patients that lost their lives in COVID-19.

Doctors and nurses planted a birch tree to honor those lives that were lost.

The sound of prayer echoed around the birch tree in honor of the lives lost during the pandemic. Medical staff at AHN Saint Vincent Hospital.

One of those that read a tribute was Saint Vincent’s ICU Manager Jean Lindenberger. She says it hits home.

“I think that it really, truly hit home about what we have done for the community and for our patients.” Lindenberger said. She added that saving patients was a challenge for her team.

Some new nurses had to face death in numbers they’ve never seen before. She says her patients needed a lot of physical and emotional care. There were times when patients didn’t have the ability to see the faces of the nurses.

“Sometimes they couldn’t hear what we were saying because they had a hard time hearing, so that was difficult too, given the care to the patients.” Lindenberger said.

“Some were on the telephone, some were looking through a window, so it was a lot of pain involved watching a loved one pass.” said Fr. Dennis Martin, Chaplain at AHN Saint Vincent Hospital.

Lindenberger says there are still people at the hospital being treated for COVID-19. She says she is a proponent of masks and the vaccine.

“Hopefully, people will make the choices and we won’t see them here at the hospital.” Lindenberger said.

On this National Hospital Week, we’re told there are other hospitals in the area that have planted a tree honoring those who lost their lives to COVID-19.

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