Americus hospital will thrive again - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Americus hospital will thrive again

May 11, 2007

Americus - - People in Sumter County are helping their hospital make a comeback. The mayor of Americus proclaimed May 11th as Sumter Regional Hospital Day. Employees and community leaders gathered to show their appreciation for those who came together after a tornado destroyed the hospital. Even some young people are helping the hospital rebuild.

You've seen the pictures over and over of Sumter Regional Hospital destroyed. Perhaps you haven't seen the spirit of the employees here.

"That means that were not going anywhere. Were going to stay here," says Nurse Assistant Beverly Thomas, donned in a t-shirts that reads 'indestructible'.

Employees praised the hospital's efforts to rebuild. Eight year old Kody Tissue got involved.

"Cause I just felt like they needed the help."

When he saw the devastated hospital, he went door to door.

"I said, 'Hi I'm collecting money for the hospital.' "

"And what did they say?" we asked.

"They said, 'Hold on one second, I'll go get you some money."

Friday, he gave a $1,000 check to the hospital. He wasn't alone.

Students at Life Christian Academy raised $1,500.

The money will help. Right now the hospital is operating out of portable buildings. Next week, they will be replaced with a 70,000 square foot temporary building thanks to FEMA which will contribute toward the 13.5 million dollar project. 

Little Kody just wanted to do his part.

"I'm glad I did that."

And employees are glad they can depend on each other to continue providing health care.

"A building is a building but when you've got heart and a foundation like we have, that's what makes it, that's why there's no difference," says Employee Rachal Hart.  

Because Mother Nature couldn't destroy them. 

Sumter Regional administrators are still negotiating with their insurance company to see how much money they'll get to rebuild. The hospital was insured at 90 million dollars. The temporary hospital is expected to be up in a month.

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