Health care workers in North Texas continue to be heroes in the fight against coronavirus.
Most patients recover and get to go home. Others, though, have not survived. Medical City Denton wanted to do something good to support and encourage its medical teams and to remember those who touched their lives.
In a simple yet solemn ceremony, health care workers lined up to each place a rock in a garden in front of the hospital; each rock in remembrance of a life lost yet also a symbol of hope for tomorrow.
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Chief Executive Officer Steven Edgar explained to his team members how remembrance rocks are used by some faiths.
"Even as one passes, families and loved ones will take a stone and put it forward becuase of the permanence the stone represents of that person's impact they've had on our lives. The patients we've treated who we've lost to covid or other reasons, they impact the poeple who are there for them," Edgar said.
"It was important for us to have a ceremony that helps us all, you know, stay connected to our whys and not only remember those we've lost but be hopeful for those we continue to care for," said Lana Bamiro, a respiratory therapist and the hospital's director of cardiopulmonary services & imaging services.
He took part in the ceremony - placing a rock and also painting one with a message.
"The one I painted was a heart and for me, as a respiratory therapist, we serve not only the lungs but also the cardiac side of things. So, the heart is where the lungs feed into and the heart pumps out to the rest of the body. So, it was truly significant to have the heart placed on my rock," Bamiro explained.
Hearts are heavy among health care workers. It's been a tough year of loss but their dedication to the fight to care for their community will not waver.
"We're thankful and hopeful as well that a lot of what we've seen will get better. It's gotta get better," Bamiro said. "It's right up front of the hospital. So you walk in, there's always that connection to why and remembrance of why I'm here to serve."