MIAMI (CBSMiami) – It was an emotional day at Broward Health Medical Center as luminous bags represented the hard work of staff and those who died from COVID-19.
A ceremonial tree was also planted to pay tribute to those whose lives have forever been changed by the pandemic.READ MORE: Shooting Investigation at Miami Gardens Gas Station
“I’ll forever look at this tree and know that I could’ve lost my life,” said COVID patient Bill Feinberg.
Just about 6 weeks ago, Feinberg began his battle with the coronavirus.
“I got a little temperature and then just started having a hard time breathing. I couldn’t breathe my oxygen level was so low,” said Feinberg.
Feinberg also got pneumonia and was admitted and placed in an isolated room in the COVID ward.
“I just sat there looking at my life thinking, as I look here and I’m looking at these bags and I see This one bag says ‘pop, pop we’ll miss you.’ And I’m a new grandfather,” added Feinberg.
Feinberg says he is alive because of the hard work of the doctors and nurses at Broward Health.READ MORE: Passing Asteroid Lights Up South Florida Sky
On Friday, the hospital came together to recognize the one-year anniversary of the start of the pandemic, planting a tree to honor those impacted by COVI-19.
“Those leaves are probably going to represent all the lives that we saved, but at the same time we can’t forget those falling leaves… those wonderful lives that we couldn’t save,” said Dr. Sunil Kumar.
In addition to the tree, more than 100 luminary bags designed by people in the community were put on display by those who lost loved ones. They were placed at the entrance to the building.
The special memorial service also recognized hospital staff who worked tirelessly to save lives.
“Our Broward Health family has weathered much personally and professionally this year. Together we have become stronger and better able to face the challenges and the unknown. This tree may get harsh weather blow some leaves and perhaps even lose a branch. This tree’s strength and resilience represent what we have here in our work family,” said Kumar.
“I’m here standing and I could have been one of the names on those bags,” said Feinberg.MORE NEWS: Woman Fatally Shot By Police Serving Eviction At Brickell Building Identified As 40-Year-Old Stephanie Voikin
Hospital officials say the luminous bags will be on display for the next few days.