San Bernardino Nurses, Medical Staff Send Love To Orlando Hospital After Shooting

"We're not close by but ... we'll try to support them as much as we can."

Medical staff in Orlando, who are caring for victims of Sunday's deadly shooting at a gay nightclub, received a thoughtful show of support from some compassionate individuals on the other side of the country. 

Members of the emergency room staff at Arrowhead Regional Medical Center -- many of whom helped victims of December's San Bernardino, California, shooting -- gathered to take photos while holding a sign directed at the Orlando Regional Medical Center, which has been caring for many of the Pulse nightclub shooting victims. 

Written on the sign was a message of solidarity: "San Bernardino County nurses and staff thinking of you!" 

With those simple words, ARMC staff hoped to show the medical team in Orlando that they understand what they're going through, and that ORMC is not alone in this. 

"So many people shared their prayers and thoughts with us after the Dec. 2 attacks. It was comforting to know ... that we had the support of people across the nation," William West, an ARMC nurse who helped come up with the show of support, told The Huffington Post. "We wanted the health care workers in Orlando to know we were thinking of them as they navigated this very trying time."

The photos, which were posted on social media, featured nurses, physicians, clerks, ER techs and more. West, along with another nurse, Rima Sagala, organized the photos, and were compelled to do something for the staff at ORMC after learning that the facility took in many of the victims.

Sagala, who was abroad at the time of the December tragedy, told HuffPost that another hospital had sent pizza to ARMC staff during that trying time. ARMC initially wanted to pay it forward and do the same for those in Orlando. However they discovered that ORMC wasn't accepting food donations at the time, so they decided to send some virtual love. 

West, who was stationed in the trauma room as San Bernardino victims began arriving to the ARMC, noted that especially during a tough time like this, those in health care need our kindness. 

"These people are charged with doing everything they can to save the victims' lives, and they invest so much time and energy," he said. "It can be emotionally draining, and just having someone there to offer encouragement can be a huge morale booster."

And though they're across the country, Sagala said that ARMC is committed being there for those in Orlando. She said the staff plan to try and organize another act of generosity for ORMC in the coming weeks. 

"We know we're not close by but if there's anything that they could use from us, we'll try to support them as much as we can," she said. 




Orlando Shooting Vigils