Samaritan’s Purse rushing field hospital to Jackson

Published 7:20 pm Sunday, August 15, 2021

Samaritan’s Purse is speeding an Emergency Field Hospital to Mississippi as the number of people hospitalized there 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.”

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.

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“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.

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.”

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