First responders pray outside hospital for overwhelmed workers treating COVID patients

Coronavirus

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KSNT) — It’s a display of appreciation that we haven’t seen since the pandemic started: hundreds gathering outside of hospitals to encourage the overwhelmed healthcare workers inside.

On Wednesday night at University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock, first responders met in the parking lot to pray over the people battling COVID-19 on the frontlines.

“It made my chest tight, teared my eyes up — it was wonderful and beautiful,” said Teresa May, a nurse at UAMS.

Agencies from across central Arkansas gathered for the prayer night, including Sherwood Police, ASP, Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office, Little Rock Fire, North Little Rock Fire, and dozens of tow truck companies.

“It’s great to know they are still thinking about us, even though this has been going on for a year and a half now,” said Heather Shurley, a nurse at UAMS.

The display of appreciation was something that was first done at area hospitals 17 months ago when the pandemic began. The event organizer, Tim Moody of the Professional Towing and Recovery Association, says he had no idea in March 2020 that he would be doing another prayer night the following year.

“We want them to know we care about them, there’s people out here that love them and appreciate what they do,” said Moody.

Sherwood Police Chaplain/Rev. LaNita Daniels said a prayer of encouragement and hope over a loudspeaker.

Some healthcare workers gathered in the parking lot to hear her and others watched from the windows.

“They are truly the epitome of what a hero really is and they are fighting every single day,” said Annabeth Johnson with UAMS.

While COVID-19 shows no signs of slowing, nurses say the flashing lights on Wednesday night showed they aren’t alone in the fight.

“It’s just amazing and beautiful and shows they care,” said May.

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