NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - The Louisiana Army National Guard’s State Aviation Command performed a stunning flyover of Slidell, Hammond, Lafayette, Lake Charles, Alexandria, Shreveport and Monroe area hospitals to honor first responders and healthcare professionals who have been working the frontlines of the COVID-19 response.
The helicopters first passed over Slidell.
Tashia Cameron is a patient access representative at Slidell Memorial Hospital.
She takes care of patients as soon as they get in and tries to make them comfortable until they see a doctor.
She says it is challenging watching coronavirus patients go through treatment.
Cameron was out here with several nurses, doctors, and other employees here watching as four black hawk helicopters went over low to the garage here and slow so everyone could take it in.
“Just being at work every day, not being able to visit family, having to stay six feet apart and not being able to live life the way we used to, it gets emotional. Here we have to hide that because our patients come first. We have to hide our emotion. Today, I couldn’t hide it,” Cameron said
“It’s extremely heartfelt. You work behind closed doors of the hospital and don’t really know there are so many people out there that appreciates the work we do every day,” said St. Tammany Hospital worker Kerry Milton. The hospital in Covington that they flew over next.
The flyover itself lasted less than a minute but it meant the world to many of the workers as medical workers and first responders said things are getting busier.
Despite an uptick at the hospital since Phase 2 started, the staff says they have now had a lot of practice and are trained. They do however want to see everyone practice social distancing and wear masks so things don’t get any busier.
The aviators are scheduled to send four UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters to fly over the hospitals in each region. They are scheduled to be in the Slidell and Alexandria areas at approximately 11 a.m., the Hammond area at approximately 11:10 a.m., the Lafayette and Monroe areas at approximately noon, the Lake Charles area at approximately 1:30 p.m. and the Shreveport area at 2:30 p.m.
The helicopters flew over Slidell Memorial Hospital in Slidell, St. Tammany Parish Hospital and North Oaks Medical Center in Hammond, Lafayette General Medical Center in Lafayette, St. Patrick’s Hospital and Lake Charles Memorial Hospital in Lake Charles, Christus St. Francis Cabrini Hospital and Rapides Regional Medical Center in Alexandria, St. Francis Medical Center in Monroe, and Ochsner LSU Health and Willis-Knighton Health System in Shreveport.