Employees at King’s Daughters Medical Center encourage Mississippians to get vaccinated


BROOKHAVEN, Miss. (WJTV) – The resurgence of coronavirus cases due to the Delta variant is impacting hospitals across the state, including King’s Daughters Medical Center in Brookhaven.

“We had July 4th, and everything was lax. Everybody thought they could go and have a good time. It’s all okay, but we have to be safe about it,” said Jaymie Heard, the in-patient nursing director. “And we weren’t.”

One big change for the hospital staff was having to protect themselves.

“Actually having to use the PPE daily and just the whole general worrying about infection,” said Heard.

One year ago, hospital officials said there were very few beds in the ICU and very few nurses to tend to those patients. This year, things are more manageable but that could change due to the low vaccination rate in Mississippi.

“Now we’re working on year two. It’s been extremely stressful on staff at the hospital, but it’s not just the hospital. It’s the community as well,” explained Heard.

One nurse said if people won’t get the vaccine to protect themselves, they should consider getting it to protect healthcare workers.

“In the hospital, we’re finally catching a break,” said Derek McKenzie, and ICU nurse. “Anytime you see the case, you’re like, ‘Are we fixing to have a big resurgence of it? How bad is it going to get?’ It’s stressful because we’ve seen how bad it can be.”

McKenzie said he had a difficult bout with COVID-19 in March. He had to quarantine for 28 days and stay away from his family.

“I won my battle. Maybe I can help some more people win theirs,” he said.

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