LEE COUNTY, Ala. (WSFA) - Lee County has the third-highest number of coronavirus cases in Alabama. East Alabama Medical Center is doing its best to care for the patients in need of hospital care.
Now Lee County residents are showing their support for hospital workers. It’s called Park and Pray.
Every morning and every night at 7 o’clock the community parks outside the East Alabama Medical Center parking lot to pray for the hospital staff. After 30 minutes of prayer, they flash their lights - a signal to the staff that they aren’t in this fight alone.
EAMC Chaplain Laura Eason is helping to organize the effort, but she says the idea came from a friend.
”It has just mushroom and just snowballed into this incredible, incredible thing," said Eason.
Registered Nurse Madeline Vick took a video from inside the hospital Thursday night. The moment, she said, gave her chills. It’s just one way the community is letting the hospital staff know they are appreciated. They’ve also brought signs, rocks, and bricks with messages of support...and provided meals.
”This entire community has been unbelievably supportive with so many things," said Vick.
The support is a source of strength for the hospital staff as they face a challenging time. Saturday, it was reported that five people died of the coronavirus at EAMC.
“These last few days have been really tough and, and it’s gonna get tougher, and so having the community behind us, having the churches and so many people of faith praying for that, in and of itself gives us strength, encouraged to keep on going," said Vick. “Just knowing that God is in this and helping keep us safe, and providing protection over our patients in our community and our staff here. Again, it’s been incredible.”
Eason’s friend who came up with the idea for Park and Pray is the wife of a hospital employee. Before the coronavirus pandemic, she would come to the hospital chapel every other Tuesday to pray for the staff and patients. She says God deserves all the credit - she says He turned her simple idea into something bigger than she could have ever imagined.
Organizers hopes to continue the Park and Pray effort for as long as they can.If you would like to sponsor a meal for the hospital staff, reach out to the Auburn or Opelika Chamber.