CLEVELAND COUNTY, Okla. (KFOR) – The Cleveland County community lit the way Friday night, hoping to shine hope for those on the front lines of COVID-19.
Countless motorists showed up and expressed support by flashing their lights in the parking lot of Norman Regional Health Systems for about 10 minutes. Their windows were rolled up and they were only with the people they live with.
It all started with two neighbors meeting only once before in passing. They came together for a common cause that they called “Friday Night Lights”.
“Know that we’re thinking about them, we love them, we’re supporting them however we can,” said Kelly Cook, an organizer of the event.
“It’s hard, but when you have that trust, it leads to hope in your heart,” said Sherri Bennett, the second organizer of the event.
Being far from the gridiron, both women said they felt the need to bring the situation regarding healthcare professionals to light.
“It’s just kind of a sad time for them,” Cook said.
“That’s just a big thing to ask someone to come to work like that and just to put your life in harm’s way to serve other people,” Bennett said.
Officials at Norman Regional Hospital say the much needed support arrived during a time of uncertainty.
“Hospitals all across the country practice for these types of crises and emergencies, but never anything quite like this,” said Richie Splitt, President and CEO of Norman Regional Hospital.
The same initiative has popped up around the State of Oklahoma. A video surfaced in Shawnee showing vehicles flashing their lights at a St. Anthony hospital, showing support for the healthcare workers not only fighting against the virus, but dwindling supplies as well.
“They walk in not knowing what the day unfolds for them, and they just get ready, roll their sleeves up and care for their patients,” Splitt said.
Splitt added that it’s efforts like this that help soften the blow. Easing the minds of some 3,500 employees in their hospital if only temporarily.
“It really is heartwarming and means a lot to all of our healers,” he said.
Cook and Bennett said this isn’t the only event they want to have for hospitals in Oklahoma. They said they would even like to set up some events for metro nursing homes.