ER nurse in Grand Rapids begs for help, urges people to get vaccinated

Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A nurse from West Michigan is begging for the community’s help as hospitals in the area near capacity and medical workers are stretched thin.

Audrey Wendt, an emergency room nurse in Grand Rapids, says things aren’t getting any easier.

“The morale is really low right now,” said Wendt. “I feel like I’ve never seen it quite this low before. It has been really hard. There’s just a lot of dying, a lot of death and that’s hard.”

Wendt has been a nurse for 11 years. She says a big thing she’s noticed recently is the virus being politicized.

“What we hear a lot in the ER is a lot of political takes on the virus and COVID, and it makes me incredibly sad because I don’t see any politicians coming and holding these people who are dying, I don’t see them holding their hands, and we are there, we are there for our communities,” said Wendt.

State numbers this week show Spectrum Blodgett Hospital at 100% capacity and Spectrum Butterworth Hospital at 92%. According to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, from Jan. 15 to Dec. 3, 85% of COVID-19 cases, 88% of hospitalizations and 85% of deaths were among people who were not fully vaccinated.

Wendt says she’s facing this problem not just at work but also at home.

“We recently lost one of our favorite family members as well and I’ll tell you that, you don’t want to have to hear that in your own house, and I don’t wish it on anybody,” said Wendt.

Her message for West Michigan is to get the shot before more people begin to suffer.

“That’s why, that’s another reason why we beg people to get vaccinated, so that they don’t have to go through the pain of losing their favorite person,” said Wendt.

Wendt says if you haven’t gotten your booster shot yet, you should do that as well. She says the hospitals simply don’t have any room for more people to get sick.

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