Baptist Health chaplain creates book of COVID reflections to empower staff, patients

Baptist Health chaplain creates book of COVID reflections to empower staff, patients

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Based on a log he has kept during the COVID-19 epidemic, a local Baptist Health chaplain began sharing powerful words to help guide doctors and nurses as they cared for patients.

Chaplain Jackie Ward read one of his favorite quotes from a mentor in his book of reflections to WAVE 3 News Friday.

“God may not steal every storm,” Ward said, “but still, there’s still no storm he cannot get us through.”

Ward’s first entry from the collection is dated March 6, the day Kentucky reported its first COVID cases.

His reflections became a book thanks to his wife, who bound them together. Copies were sent to staff to keep with them, as they continue to be the frontlines caring for our loved ones.

Ward said he had faith and knew the pandemic is a storm he will help people get through.

“This has been heavy for folks,” he said. “It’s tough for our nurses and doctors to try and save these lives and fight for these folks.”

Baptist Health doctors and nurses have seen over 300 people die from the COVID-19 virus, and every day, Ward witnessed the virus attack more patients.

“To be with a nurse who is tearful because the patient is struggling or tearful,” Ward said, “scared because we aren’t able to save that patient.”

He said that his log was a way to help staff and patients channel their issues into words.

“We gotta release some of this pressure that’s going on,” Ward said. “The old-time pressure cooker would explode if you weren’t careful.”

Ward taught them to speak openly about what they were going through, whether it was anger or vulnerability.

Dr. Chuck Anderson said the words from Ward, and the care of the hospital staff, has meant the world in the last year.

“The main thing, what all of our staff does,” Anderson said, “your loved one is not dying alone.”

No matter how many people rolled in and out of hospital doors, Ward said he’s seen faith keep staff, patients and their families fighting to see another day.

“I pray from my heart and honestly to God,” he said.

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