Dozens gather in cars outside Avon hospital to thank health care workers

Dozens gather in cars at Avon, Indiana, hospital parking lot to say thanks to health care workers

AVON, Ind. (WISH) — Social distancing guidelines haven’t diminished the town of Avon’s community spirit.

Dozens of people gathered Thursday night in the parking lot of IU Health West Hospital to thank health care workers on the front lines of the fight against COVID-19.

They sat in — and on — their vehicles to minimize contact and honked their horns in a show of support for doctors, nurses, technicians, cleaning staff and other employees inside the hospital.

Church music filled the parking lot as people flashed their vehicle lights in unison.

The chorus of horns peaked at its loudest point when a police officer drove past the hospital, as if to salute all first responders continuing to work during the pandemic.

Lauren Coons, a U.S. Army veteran, grew emotional when she saw the crowd outside the hospital where her relatives work.

“They’re really like soldiers to me,” she said of health care workers. “They’re handling it with such grace. They’re just really wanting us to do our part, here on the outside, and we need to.”

Several staffers inside the facility could be seen smiling and waving from the hospital’s windows.

Coons smiled through her tears as the honking grew louder.

“To see them come to the windows is hard,” she said. “We have family on the inside. We can’t touch them. We can’t see them. But we have to pray that they survive.”

Kapri Ames, the associate chief nursing officer at IU Health West Hospital, urged Hoosiers to abide by Gov. Eric Holcomb’s stay-at-home order and guidelines issued by public health officials.

Social distancing — and “all the prayers from the community” — were making a difference, she told News 8.