GREAT FALLS — March 24, 2020, was when Benefis Health System admitted its first COVID-19 patient, and after all of the hard work and emotions, they are honoring those who have succumbed to the virus.
This week, Benefis created a memorial in their lobby located in the North Tower. The memorial consists of yellow hearts that represent loved ones who passed away.
The 10th Street Bridge was also lit on March 24th to honor Covid survivors and the medical teams that fought for them.
For every patient who died, another eight left the hospital to return to their families, their lives, and their recoveries.
Alicia Beagles, who serves as Benefis' Manager of Medical and Patient Flow, said, "The staff here, we had to constantly try something new, and there wasn't a cure like there are for many other things that we are able to provide in the hospital. We tried everything we could, and it never did quite feel like we did enough, and that really left a huge trauma for the staff that had cared for all of these patients."
Beagles noted, "We've gotten better at understanding it, and through trials and errors, we've been able to treat people, and be able to learn more through scientific evidence and discovery, they've really been able to learn and research what Covid is doing and we've been able to be a little bit more proactive, and be able to help those patients better."
If you wish to add the name of a loved one who died because of Covid, you can submit the person's name at Benefis.org/COVIDmemorial.
As of March 24, 2022, there have been 3,240 deaths due to COVID in Montana, including 321 deaths in Cascade County. There have been 11,810 hospitalizations in Montana due to COVID.
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