Healthcare workers at Mercy Health’s Muskegon hospital received a ‘thank you’ from President-elect Joe Biden and his wife Jill Biden on Thanksgiving.
“Thank you, thank you,” Joe Biden said via FaceTime to a group of hospital staff. “You’ve got such a spike at your hospital and so much need and you’re risking your lives. We just can’t thank you enough.”
Muskegon County’s case count has more than quadrupled since Oct. 1. The county has reported a total of 6,626 cases as of Nov. 25, and 161 people have died.
At Mercy Health’s Mercy Campus in Muskegon there are 133 coronavirus inpatients as of Nov. 25.
Amy Moore, a registered nurse who has been working with Mercy Health for 15 years, answered the call around 1 p.m. on Thursday and says it brought her to tears.
“Oh my goodness. It was just the most unbelievable feeling,” Moore said in an interview Friday. “It gave us so much hope in a horrible time. I’m emotional now.”
The call lasted just under 5 minutes as the Bidens asked the nurses how they were feeling and what their biggest concerns were. The group replied that their issue was being short staffed.
Joe and Jill Biden also shared their own personal experiences with intensive care unit nurses.
“I think you underestimate how critical you are to the mental health of patients, as well, not just the physical, just knowing nurses were there for us, made a gigantic, gigantic difference,” Joe Biden said after reflecting on his times spent in the ICU.
Moore said hearing Biden’s personal experiences in the ICU made her and other staff on the call feel understood.
“That meant everything to us, and I think at that point that’s what made me so emotional,” Moore said. “I’m not trying to be political at all, but we’re suffering, and it feels like we’re going to have someone that takes it serious.”
It was a much needed morale boost during a time of “grueling, exhausting work,” Moore said.
She said she hopes the awareness surrounding what’s happening inside hospitals that are close to hitting capacity encourages others to take it more seriously.
“We just need our community to really see it and to realize this isn’t political, it’s not. It’s serious. And people are suffering,” Moore said.