COVID-19 vaccination clinic brings hope to Iowa residents

"This is the first step in putting that all behind us"

Good Samaritan Society Le Mars Resident Karen Breuer

COVID-19 vaccination clinics, operated by Walgreens and CVS, are taking place at Good Samaritan Society locations across the country.

There’s a sense of urgency to get the vaccine at Good Samaritan Society – Le Mars in Iowa, where resident Karen Breuer knows how brutal the coronavirus can be.

“I think it’s great. I think we need something. I lost three friends in 10 days with COVID,” Breuer said.

Those friends lived in town, not at the Society, where Breuer has lived since suffering a stroke and undergoing surgery for a twisted stomach.

“I mean when I came in here, I was like a rag. I just couldn’t do nothing. I’ve come a long way,” Breuer said.

Protecting residents and health care heroes

The Le Mars center provides long-term care and rehabilitation services. Its staff is essential, and activity director Teresa Petty can’t wait to move past the pandemic.

“It’s a big day. I was so excited when I woke up. It’s almost emotional because it’s been a lot to watch the people here go through what they have in the last 10 months. To know that this is the first step in putting that all behind us is huge,” Petty said.

When it comes to the COVID-19 vaccine, she’s done her research.

“I talked to my doctor. I talked to a couple relatives in my family who are in the medical field. The information that I got, I felt 100% safe today getting the vaccination,” Petty said.

Vaccine providing hope

Getting the vaccine can hopefully open doors back up for visitors again. In the meantime, workers here are building a safe visitation room for the residents and their families.

“They are definitely what keeps us going every single day. What we do, we do for them,” Petty said.

96-year-old resident Mary Anne Herbst is about as sweet and funny as they come.

“Didn’t feel a thing,” Herbst said. “I wonder if she did it.”

Herbst has been living here since May. Thanks to puzzles, papers and daily calls from her “boys” she stays plenty busy.

“They really want me here so I don’t get this virus,” Herbst said.

With dozens of staff and residents choosing to get vaccinated, the center should be one of the safest locations in northwest Iowa.

“What’s a little shot in the arm? It’s no big deal,” Herbst said.

Getting through it together

Erin Palmer, the director of nursing here, agrees. She’s worked hard to dodge COVID-19.

“I don’t want to get it. I don’t want to take it home to my mom who’s not in the greatest of health,” Palmer said.

So she’s rolling up her sleeve. One by one, her co-workers and beloved residents are doing the same to help end the pandemic.

“I just think it’s terrible. I just wish it never started but it has. We have to do something about it to get through it,” Breuer said.

And we’ll get through it together, Breuer says. She’s grateful for her new family at Good Samaritan Society.

“They are really great. I would have anybody that has to go to a nursing home, I would say come here,” Breuer said.

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Posted In Coronavirus, Immunizations, News, Senior Services

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