UTAHNS WE’VE LOST

Hospital ceremony honors survivors, healthcare heroes as U.S. hits one million COVID-19 deaths

May 17, 2022, 6:35 PM | Updated: 6:52 pm

OREM, Utah — The lawn of Timpanogos Regional Hospital was adorned with flags to honor the lives lost to COVID-19, those who survived it, and the caregivers and healthcare workers who cared for the sick.

 

During a ceremony Monday, dozens gathered to mark two years since the pandemic began and the impact it has had on our community. The event comes days after America hit a grim milestone of one million COVID-19 deaths.

 

Survivor Larry Barney and his wife talked to the audience about his fight with the virus. The 33-year-old spent five months in the hospital with COVID-19 pneumonia and pulmonary embolisms. 

 

“I was really close to death. It hit me, it hit me hard,” Barney said. “I didn’t know it was that serious, I didn’t know that it could take somebody of my age.”

 

Doctors told his wife, Chelsey, he had a 5% chance of living.

 “When he was intubated I knew it was just was not good,” she said. “Most days all we could do was pray for a miracle.”

 

Barney said his survival was only made possible by those who cared for him at the hospital and family who stayed by his side.

 

“Hearing my son’s little voice over and over just kept me going,” he said.

 

The event also honored hospital staff including ICU doctors and nurses and respiratory therapists. Those in attendance blacked were encouraged to place their own blue flag to honor the work done being these healthcare heroes.

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Hospital ceremony honors survivors, healthcare heroes as U.S. hits one million COVID-19 deaths