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FV Hospital organises a special photo exhibition of COVID-19 moments

This photo exhibition, which documents historical moments across the course of the pandemic for FV staff and the wider community, had a launch day but no end date. Titled “Memorable moments during Covid-19 at FV,” this exhibit honours the dedication of the FV team members who came together to overcame difficulties and lead FV Hospital solidly through the pandemic bravely and wholeheartedly, all for our community.

The most stressful periods of the Covid-19 pandemic have passed, however, the memory of those unprecedentedly difficult days will never fade in the hearts of HCMC people, generally, and FV’s medical team in particular. To commemorate the dedicated contributions of the frontline medical team, “Memorable moments during Covid-19 at FV” will be posted within the hospital campus indefinitely.

Dr Jean-Marcel Guillon, CEO of FV Hospital (left), and photographer Pier Laurenza cut the ribbon to open the photo exhibition

Nearly 100 photos capture the recent fight against Covid-19, not only showing respect for the medical staff, but also depicting and preserving memorable stories of humanity and medical ethics. Most of the photos at the exhibition were taken by a special patient and friend of FV, French photographer Pier Laurenza.

At the end of July 2021, after receiving two vaccination shots provided by the French Government at FV, he asked Dr Guillon if he could be a “resident photojournalist” at FV and silently record the historical moments of thousands of people at FV during the peak months of the pandemic. The exhibition also includes images captured by patients and medical staff during the Covid-19 period at FV.

Memorable moments during COVID-19, captured and displayed at FV Hospital

Speaking at the opening of the exhibition, Dr Jean-Marcel Guillon, CEO of FV Hospital, shared, “I cannot fully describe how exhausting it was for the frontline team to fight Covid-19. They worked day and night, and only exchanged smiles during rare moments of happiness when one more patient was saved—an occurrence that became more common once the community vaccination programme was provided. It is significant to have a professional photographer capturing these moments when we were busy taking care of patients during this long fight. Now, we can look back on these moments as part of a history that helped shaped us and the Hospital.”

Photographer Pier Laurenza at the exhibition

Along with still photographs at the exhibition, Pier Laurenza also made a very touching movie about FV’s efforts in the fight against Covid-19. The movie, shown to launch the photo exhibition, made a strong impression on its audience.

Pier shared his thoughts and feelings at the opening of the exhibition: “I would like to thank the Board of Directors of FV Hospital for giving me the opportunity to capture those photos and I want to pay my deep respects to all the doctors, nurses, medical staff, and also the guards and sanitation workers, who stayed at FV during the Covid-19 pandemic. They were the inspiration and motivation for me to record these historical moments.”

The exhibition was attended by a special guest–Mr Pham Duc Tue, a patient who was successfully treated at FV during this difficult time.

Remaining fierce and courageous in the fight against Covid-19 requires sacrifice on behalf of the medical team. For many months, members of the Board of Directors and hundreds of other medical staff worked, ate, and slept at the hospital. At that time, FV’s human resources department lost nearly 200 employees due to isolation regulations F0 and F1, but FV did not close its doors and was determined to “not refuse any patient” as Dr Guillon directed and encouraged.

Memorable moments displayed in the exhibition

As a frontline doctor in the treatment of Covid-19, Dr Ngo Van Huy, Gastroenterology and Hepatology Department, said: “I will never forget those 75 consecutive days and nights of fighting against Covid-19 over the course of my career. At first, the whole team was a little worried, but in the following days, the doctors and nurses became stronger and more resilient, always in a state of readiness to fight. I said to my colleagues “Let’s be Hippocrates warriors during the pandemic.”

Dr Ngo Van Huy recalls the image of a patient breathing with a very high dose of oxygen from the tank (10-15 litres per minute), struggling between the boundary of life and death. It made the doctor wrestle deeply with the question: how can he better help patients?

Attending the opening of the exhibition, Ms Phan Thi Thu Van, Nursing Head of Internal Medicine, shared: “I was so moved when I saw the photos in the exhibition. They reminded me of scenes more than a year ago when I felt like I was on the battlefield and feeling a lot of emotions. I am also very proud that during that time I was able to accompany the FV team and share my experience during the treatment process so that we could treat patients in the best way possible.”

At the time of the Covid-19 outbreak, patients were so crowded at FV Hospital’s Emergency Department that they have to be treated on stretchers lining the corridor out to the parking lot where temporary tents had been erected. All these moments were captured by Pier’s lens. The exhibition displays compelling photos that have never been seen in FV’s 20 years of establishment and development and evoke many different emotions. They also conjure intertwined memories of sadness and pride for hundreds of FV frontline employees during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Photographer Pier Laurenza and visitors at the photo exhibition

Interspersed with the black and white photos depicting the intensity of Covid-19 are photos capturing moments of faith and hope. A patient’s happy moments being discharged from the hospital after recovering. An image of proud FV medical staff returning from the vaccination project for the community in an ambulance that the hospital uses for transport in difficult situations. The shining eyes of the patients’ relatives after learning their loved ones had been saved.

Each image in “Memorable memories during Covid-19 at FV” is a moment that any FV medical staff will never forget and hope will never happen again. Under difficult conditions, they remained professional as they discharged their duties, helping many patients and elevating FV to new heights. FV has proven that it is ready to respond to natural disasters, including pandemics. When the community and Government need help, the FV staff is always ready to join hands.

“I can’t hold back my tears when I look back at the photos recording the intense moments at FV during the pandemic. I am very impressed by, grateful for and proud of the FV team,” Dr Jean Marcel Guillon, CEO of FV Hospital, shared.

During the outbreak of the pandemic, the Hospital hospitalised nearly 1,150 Covid-19 patients, of which 973 patients were discharged and successfully treated—a success rate of 85 per cent. The team performed 78,195 RT-PCR tests, of which 6,164 were positive, and provided more than 100,000 Covid-19 vaccinations. The collective efforts of FV have contributed to the overall victory of the medical team in Ho Chi Minh City in fighting the pandemic, restoring the city’s vibrant atmosphere.