Samaritan's Purse Establishing Field Hospital in Mississippi as COVID-19 Cases Soar

August 15, 2021 • United States
The Emergency Field Hospital is nearly constructed and is slated to receive patients as early as Wednesday.

Our mobile treatment center will soon be set up in Jackson, Mississippi, to care for a rising numbers of seriously ill patients.

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Samaritan’s Purse is on the ground in southern Mississippi constructing an Emergency Field Hospital as the number of people hospitalized by COVID-19 is stretching the state’s capacity thin.

“We are grateful for the opportunities that God has given us over the past year and a half to minister to communities impacted by COVID-19,” said Franklin Graham, president of Samaritan’s Purse. “Please join me in praying for our team of disaster response specialists as they meet the physical needs of coronavirus patients in Mississippi while sharing the peace and hope found in Jesus Christ.”

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Tractor trailers transporting the treatment unit rolled out this morning from our North American Ministries center in North Wilkesboro, North Carolina. At the invitation of Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves, we will help provide much-needed relief to already-overwhelmed doctors, nurses, and hospitals in the region.

“In the state of Mississippi they are getting hammered by the coronavirus,” said Edward Graham. “There are no ICU beds in the entire state. I ask that you pray for these patients as we provide the best medical care and also the love of Jesus Christ.”

Our Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) will construct the COVID-19 treatment center on the campus of the University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC)—the state’s only Level 1 trauma center.

Members of our medical team are currently on the ground in Jackson determining needs as we coordinate with doctors, nurses, and hospital leadership to plan our response. Plans so far include space for as many as 10 ICU patients and 50 non-ICU patients. A federal government field hospital is also being placed on the premises.

We plan to begin receiving patients as early as Wednesday.

As many as 300 COVID-19 patients are awaiting treatment and upwards of 5,000 new cases are being reported daily statewide. That number is expected to grow.

“Mississippi is experiencing an overwhelming event that seriously threatens to strain that system to the breaking point,” said Dr. Elliott Tenpenny, Director of the International Health Unit at Samaritan’s Purse. “We’re here to do what we can to help in Jesus’ Name. All we can do is pitch in until we get through it and share the hope of Jesus Christ with people experiencing a life-altering event.”

Dr. Tenpenny said that Mississippi has one of the lowest vaccination rates in the country—just 35% are fully vaccinated—and that Jackson-area hospitals are among the hardest hit in the state.

“Right now what we’re trying to do is lend a helping hand and do everything we can to help this state in a time of need,” Dr. Tenpenny said. “There’s really nothing else to do except pitch in and pray.”

Please pray for people suffering with COVID-19 in Mississippi, for area medical personnel, and for our teams as we respond to immense needs in Jesus’ Name. Pray also that our Lord would supply medical professionals—Christian doctors and nurses—who can join this work. And, finally, pray for those struggling with this disease around the world and for an end to the pandemic.

As soon as trucks arrived, teams began setting up the hospital, working into the night.

As soon as trucks arrived, teams began setting up the hospital, working into the night.

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We began today receiving patients at the respiratory care unit.
Emergency Medicine Your gift will enable Samaritan’s Purse to provide life-saving medical care (including doctors, nurses, respirators, and other essential equipment) in places where vulnerable communities are suffering in the wake of disaster or from outbreaks of infectious diseases like COVID-19. We also offer public health outreaches to prevent the spread of life-threatening illnesses. Most importantly, we are able to bring the Gospel message of eternal hope to those who are suffering and afraid.

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