The following is a letter from alumni parent Susanna Merriman, whose daughter Erica Britenburg, a 2003 SJCS graduate and the Communications and Alumni Relations Manager at St. Joe’s from 2013-2016, is a Radiologic Technologist at a large Georgia hospital.
I have just finished reading Keith Kiser’s letter to the St. Joe’s community that was posted on Facebook. Over the years, during the school’s highs and lows, Keith has remained resolute in the mission of St Joseph’s. He has provided such sound leadership, guidance and continued faith even in times of uncertainty. Our community will be tested during the weeks and months ahead like never before, and I know that my family and I always look to his messages of hope and faith.
I wanted to share this photograph with you and ask that you remember Erica in your prayers, as she works on the frontlines caring for patients in (Georgia’s) hospital system within the emergency, critical care and oncology department. She has cared for presumptive COVID-19 patients just like the tens of thousands of selfless healthcare providers and workers across the country. These healthcare workers work tirelessly and without hesitation, show up for their shifts with little protective equipment, perform their jobs despite the risk of exposure to themselves, and continue to advocate and care for the patients in need. As a mom, I am concerned about her but as she told me last week, this is her calling and what she’s committed to do for her profession.
Please join me in praying for her safety and health and that the hospitals ministering to the COVID-19 patients get the PPE’s they need so desperately. She was issued one N-95 face mask last week and has to reuse it each shift. This week, she reported she was issued a pair of goggles and was so excited and grateful. It breaks my heart to know that the greatest country and healthcare system in the world is being taxed to the point of not being able to meet the needs of the healthcare workers on a local, state or national level and will soon not be able to care for the patients due to the unavailability of respiratory support devices.
I am so appreciative for the St. Joseph’s community and the education, support, kindness and prayers that have been given to our family over the years. Please keep all of the healthcare workers in your thoughts and prayers as we move through the next few months ahead and they face the greatest healthcare crisis in the last century. Pray for our city, state and national leaders as they navigate educational, economic and health impacts and as they make difficult decisions ahead affecting all citizens. Our family’s thoughts and prayers are with all of the St. Joseph’s community, the medical community, patients, families, those in need and to those who will be and have been affected by COVID-19.
Wishing you continued good health and blessings during these unprecedented times and days ahead.
(Erica ’03 and Jordan ’13)