Anonymous donation helps Nacogdoches hospital buy special COVID-19 testing equipment

Anonymous donation helps Nacogdoches hospital buy special COVID-19 testing equipment
WEBXTRA: COVID testing machine

NACOGDOCHES, Texas (KTRE) - The announcement of $200,000 gift to Nacogdoches Memorial Foundation came at the onset of COVID-19 on Christmas Day. The anonymous generosity exemplifies more than the needed equipment it provided.

Over nine months ago a shortage of personal protective gear was solved by the generous deposit.

Laboratory staff, led by Janine Bey, was among the most appreciative.

“It showed the deep care and concern for the community.”

Once that need was met, remaining funds went toward the most recent acquisition of definitive testing equipment. Within 2 hours it detects 23 respiratory pathogens, including COVID-19.

“Our greatest challenge over the last 9 months that we are combating,” said Bey.

The equipment, called BioFire, performs polymerase chain reaction testing, or PCR testing, which is the most accurate method of testing on the market, according to a hospital release.

“It’s one of our confirmation tests to actually know if this person actually has the virus in their system or it does not,” Bey simply explains.

It’s good for the hospital. Good for the community says CEO Gary Stokes.

“Our list is huge as far as needs and particularly anything COVID related. So, it couldn’t have come at a better time,” said Stokes.

The donation also allowed the hospital to budget for the addition of more monitor beds, according to Stokes. Soon the ICU capacity will go from 12 beds to 16 beds.

An anonymous donation also provides lab workers a link to the samples they handle.

“They have a connection with each other. So, it could be their neighbor. It could be a teacher. It could even be a family member. Which gives it an additive that keeps us more connected to the community at large,” shared Bey.

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