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Low hospital beds, staffing leads to long waits for patients

Published: Jan. 21, 2022 at 6:37 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 21, 2022 at 7:22 PM CST
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JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - The struggle to find available hospital beds has hit patients and their families hard, including one mother who was waiting for her son to be seen in a Jonesboro hospital.

Kirby Smith is a wife and mother of three. She said COVID-19 hit everyone in her household, except her.

Smith mentioned two of her children had a very severe case, especially her youngest son, Vinny.

“Our two younger children are not vaccinated because they’re not old enough,” Kirby said.

Smith said Vinny was rushed to a nearby hospital for observation, but there were not enough staff and beds at the hospital.

Vinny was sent to the Arkansas Children’s Hospital for observation. Smith described those moments as “terrifying”.

Smith mentioned she had learned the majority of the patients in the hospital were unvaccinated, so she strongly encourages people who are eligible to get a vaccine to go get one to slow down the rate of hospitalizations.

“Those [eligible, but unvaccinated] are taking up spaces for children that cannot be vaccinated at this point or people who are vaccinated and just have rare symptoms,” she said.

Smith said her family has since recovered from COVID-19.

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