CBS News gets inside look at Stormont Vail COVID-19 ward

Published: Nov. 27, 2020 at 10:24 PM CST
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Stormont Vail recorded a grim milestone Friday in its fight against COVID-19: it’s 100th COVID-related death.

Six patients at Stormont lost their fight from Thursday morning to Friday afternoon.

Earlier in the week, a crew from CBS News got an inside look at what patients - and staff - are up against.

“I was hopeful that it would not get to this point, but here we are,” Allissa Dickey, a nurse in the hospital’s COVID-19 ward told CBS News. “We are trying our best.”

Stormont has more than doubled its daily high for covid-19 patients this month. They went from 36 Nov. 1, hitting 103 Monday, and treating 98 Friday.

“Unfortunately many of these patients can’t talk. They’re on ventilators. They’re very sick. Many of them may not live to be here tomorrow,” said Dr. Hassan Taha, an ICU doctor at Stormont.

Since last Saturday, 19 patients at Stormont have passed away from COVID-related illness.

“My mom died (Sunday),” one patient told CBS News. “I can’t go to my brother’s and my family. I can’t see my kids for almost a month because I can’t stay in my house for two weeks after the hospital.”

Even as they witness the loss, the staff see the strength of spirit.

“I’m a fighter,” COVID-19 patient Ardith Griffin proclaimed. “I want to get this over with, behind me.”

But with waiting areas and hallways already converted into space for more patients, the fear is what happens if a predicted post-Thanksgiving spike become reality.

“The situation will be much worse,” Dr. Taha said. “We’re going to have patients with no beds. We’re going to have patients who are very sick at home because they can’t come to the hospital - and we’re not talking about imagination. We’re talking about right now, what’s happening on the ground.”

“I am nervous,” Dickey said. “I am not gonna lie - I’m nervous about what will happen.”

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