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Flags left as ‘thank you gift’ for medical workers

By Jamie Lampros - Special to the Standard-Examiner | Oct 14, 2021

Photo supplied Craig Bielik, Ogden Regional Medical Center

Flags line the Ogden Regional Medical Center to thank medical workers.

OGDEN – Jill Gebert planted 200 American flags around Ogden Regional Medical Center on Wednesday to thank medical workers she credits with saving her mother’s life from COVID-19.

On Sept. 4, Gebert’s mother, Marie Bosworth, started experiencing heart palpitations and coughing. She was sent to Logan Regional Medical Center and was monitored for six hours before being sent home with instructions to return if she felt worse.

“That week, she read a news story up here in Logan that talked about the hospitals being so full they didn’t have any beds, so she got it in her head that she needed to take care of herself at home,” Gebert said.

But Bosworth kept getting worse. Her oxygen level fell to 62% and her breathing was labored. The family called the ambulance and she was taken to Cache Valley Hospital and then transferred to Ogden Regional Medical Center where she was placed on a ventilator.

“They told her she had a 15 to 20% chance of living,” Gebert said. “They really didn’t expect her to live. Her kidneys were shutting down and she was throwing clots.”

Photo Supplied Jill Gebert

Marie Bosworth, her husband Dee, daughter Susan Hammond and Susan's daughter's Jessica and Nicole.

But Gebert began to recover and after 10 days, the ventilator was removed.

“She had been fully vaccinated and we knew that would help her recover,” Gebert said. “When you have somebody who has COVID, they go to the ICU and you can’t seen them. You have to look through the windows and you put a lot of faith and trust in the healthcare workers who are taking care of your loved ones.”

Gebert said throughout her mother’s stay in the ICU, she watched as healthcare workers treated more than their usual patient load.

“They treat patients who are very very sick and die every day,” she said. “The emotional and physical stress is enormous. It has taken a lot of toll on the healthcare workers and they do an amazing job. The nurses were great at explaining what was happening. Not only do they treat your loved ones all day, they constantly update the family as well.”

Gebert’s mother has been in rehabilitation for the past three weeks and is expected to be released on Friday if all goes well, Gebert said.

Photo supplied, Craig Bielik/Ogden Regional Medical Center

Jill Gebert places outside the Ogden Regional Medical Center to thank medical workers Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2021.

“She’s been learning how to get her strength back. Her muscles were so weak,” Gebert said. “At first, she had to learn how to swallow again and she’s been on a really soft diet. But she’s to the point to where she can move around and het herself out of bed.”

As a thank you to the staff who cared for her mother, Gebert, along with the help of family and friends, planted the flags around the hospital perimeter and later took fruit kabobs to the staff.

“I have been involved with Follow the Flag for several years. Their mission is to honor, heal and inspire. I wanted to recognize not only our local healthcare workers, but those throughout the country because what we are asking them to do is above and beyond,” she said. “They heal our loved ones every day and I think it’s important for us to help them heal as well. A small token of love goes a long way.”

Gebert said she hopes people won’t hesitate going to the hospital when they are sick.

“I think if my mom hadn’t waited so long, she probably would have done better,” she said. “If you’re sick, don’t wait. Go to the hospital. They’ll find room for you.”

Jamie Lampros, Special to the Standard-Examiner

American flags sit outside Ogden Regional Medical Center.

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