NCH unveils garden, fountain to commemorate 1 year of pandemic

Reporter: Gina Tomlinson Writer: Derrick Shaw
Published: Updated:

NCH commemorated one year since the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus a pandemic.

NCH dedicated a newly installed “Healthcare Heroes” courtyard and fountain in front of the main lobby of the NCH Baker Downtown Hospital.

“The courtyard will be a place of honor for our healthcare heroes who worked tirelessly on the front lines,” NCH said in a statement, “a place of respite for the loved ones of our patients, and a place of remembrance for the lives that were lost at NCH to COVID-19.”

Watch in the player below or click here.

There were solemn moments for doctors and nurses Thursday as a bell rang 157 times, each toll symbolizing a life lost.

“When we were all in fear, they weren’t concerned for themselves,” said Naples Mayor Teresa Heitmann of the health care workers.

Dr. David Lindner and others working with him in the COVID unit gathered to reflect on when the pandemic hit Naples last March.

“Suddenly this first patient was in the hospital with this disease,” he recalled.

“For most of the healthcare workers did not understand whether or not this is something that we could be protected from or whether we could be lying in the bed next to them.”

NCH CEO Paul Hiltz touched on the survivors.

“To have 2,200 people discharged safely to their homes, and thousands more treated in the emergency department and released,” Hiltz said. 

NCH only had two exposures from a patient infecting a health care worker, and zero cases of patient-to-patient transmission.

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