FORT WORTH, Texas - The increasing number of pediatric COVID-19 hospitalizations in North Texas is troubling.
Cook Children's Hospital in Fort Worth announced last week it hit crisis mode.
A Fort Worth mother's group saw that cry for help and is coming to the aid of those who help young patients.
"It started as just a text thread. Did you watch this? Did you see this discussion?" Emily Youree recalled.
Youree said it started after the video released last week by Cook Children’s Hospital.
"Knowing those things could really help us and we’re begging for the public’s help so we can take care of the kids who are really sick," one Cook Children’s doctor said during the COVID-19 update video.
It was a visual update from doctors on the frontlines of COVID-19, some wracked with emotion days after a record 600 pediatric patients filled its ER.
"I get paid and everything in my training and career was to not freak out. But I’m freaking out," Dr. Corwin Warmink said as part of the Cook Children’s update.
"I think a lot of people think, ‘Oh, if my kid gets it, they’re not going to get that sick.’ Well, that’s generally true, but we’re seeing more and more sick kids admitted to our hospital," another doctor added.
The words and images triggered a donation drive put together by the group, Fort Worth Moms.
"We want to support and encourage them so they can keep going because we need them," Youree added.
Mainly known as an online resource, the group put its thousands of followers on notice, and started to ask medical workers what items would help out.
"We are asking for cards and letters of encouragement, and that seems to be the silliest and people are like, ‘Oh, I’ll do something better than that,’ but every hospital that we talk to, that was their number one request," Youree said. "These doctors and nurses and support staff are needing that verbal cheering."
Also in demand are commercially packaged snacks, small toys, and activities for children, like Play-Doh. The drive now extends beyond Cook Children’s.
"We are going to benefit Cook Children’s Hospital, the downtown location of Baylor Scott & White, two [Texas Health Resources] locations in Fort Worth, and JPS Health," Youree said.
Youree likens the pandemic to a marathon race.
"Their mental stamina is waning, and emotionally, it’s hard to keep pushing and keep going and we want to be the crowd that’s on the sidelines handing them water and cheering for them showing them the sign because we need you to finish the race," she added.