Samaritan’s Purse Completes Work at Lenoir Field Hospital

5th February 2021

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As our medical team releases the final COVID-19 patients from our Emergency Field Hospital in western North Carolina, we remember what God has done in the midst of crisis.

Top healthcare executives from the region joined the Samaritan’s Purse team on Feb. 3 to honour the work accomplished during the deployment of our Emergency Field Hospital in Lenoir, North Carolina. Since Jan. 7, we operated a mobile respiratory care unit to assist six regional healthcare systems from a central location at Caldwell UNC Health Care.

Edward Graham spoke at the event honoring the work of our Emergency Field Hospital in Lenoir.

Edward Graham spoke at the event honoring the work of our Emergency Field Hospital in Lenoir.

We treated nearly 80 patients at our 30-bed hospital, with the final two patients released from care on Feb. 4.

Representatives from the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) also participated in the event, alongside local community leaders and churches.

Helping Neighbours Far and Near

Edward and Will Graham, sons of Franklin Graham—who leads both Samaritan’s Purse and the BGEA, attended the field hospital’s closing day to offer words of encouragement and gratitude.

Edward, who joined Samaritan’s Purse leadership in 2018, said helping neighbors in need is just as critical to the work of Samaritan’s Purse as our international responses.

“Just like our name implies, we go around the world to help others and love on them,” Edward said, referencing the parable of the Good Samaritan from Luke 10. “You’re our neighbors. We saw what this virus was doing in the community, and we wanted to help.”

Lenoir Mayor Joe Gibbons expressed his gratitude for the work of Samaritan’s Purse around the world and in North Carolina.

Lenoir Mayor Joe Gibbons expressed his gratitude for the work of Samaritan’s Purse around the world and in North Carolina.

Edward also recognised the work of hospital leadership in providing access and support during the response. These executives from Caldwell UNC Health Care included Laura Easton, president and CEO; Dr. David Lowry, chief medical officer; and Rebecca Smith, chief operating officer.

“I couldn’t be more proud to be a North Carolinian,” Edward said. “This hospital partnership has been amazing, and we’re very grateful.”

Will, who serves as executive director of the BGEA, offered a word of prayer during the event. A number of Billy Graham Rapid Response Team chaplains served at the field hospital, providing spiritual care and comfort to patients and medical staff.

Lenoir Mayor Joe Gibbons expressed his gratitude for what God had done in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, which threatened to overwhelm hospitals in the region. He also expressed gratitude for the ministry of Samaritan’s Purse.

“What a blessing that we have Samaritan’s Purse just a few miles up the road,” Mayor Gibbons said. “Let me thank you for everything you have meant to this region. Your ministry is truly a blessing throughout the country and the world.”

Gibbons was among many from the community and local churches who buoyed our field hospital team with food, prayers, and words of encouragement throughout our response in the Blue Ridge foothills.

Edward Graham recognises Caldwell UNC Health Care executives, from left, Dr. David Lowry, Chief Medical Officer; Rebecca Smith, Chief Operating Officer; and Dr. Laura Easton, Chief Executive Officer.

Edward Graham recognises Caldwell UNC Health Care executives, from left, Dr. David Lowry, Chief Medical Officer; Rebecca Smith, Chief Operating Officer; and Dr. Laura Easton, Chief Executive Officer.

This response represents one of three stateside field hospitals that Samaritan’s Purse has set since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis. Our first U.S. deployment was to New York City last spring. Our current Emergency Field Hospital in California continues to receive an influx of patients on the campus of Antelope Valley Hospital in Los Angeles County. Our medical teams have seen more than 100 patients since our opening there.

We give thanks to God for the work completed in North Carolina and ask for continued prayers for the team serving in California.

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