GREENSBORO, N.C. — In 2020, Cone Health reopened the former Women's Hospital to treat the rapidly rising cases of COVID-19.
For decades the hospital specialized in the treatment of women and delivered hundreds of thousands of babies.
The Women's Hospital closed when the new Women's and Children's Center opened at Moses Cone Hospital.
On Saturday, the doctors and nurses that walked the floors of Cone Health's Green Valley Campus came together for the first time, without masks and gowns.
They commemorated two years since the hospital closed and took the opportunity to reflect on the time they spent in what became the state's only dedicated COVID hospital.
"It was for me no question that I would go," said Registered Nurse, Hannah Mack.
Mack was one of the many that selflessly volunteered to work at the Green Valley Campus.
"You didn't have time to think, you just did," said Mack.
"We were learning things and making changes sometimes day by day or even week by week," said Dr. Bradley Icard.
Dr. Icard also worked at the Green Valley Campus.
He says he witnessed the most innovative 11 months of his career while that hospital was was open.
"Being able to be a part of the community to see the response that we had and to be a part of that team is something that I'll never forget," said Dr. Icard.
Not all days were bright.
There were still many dark days during a very uncertain time.
"I have never in my life seen so many patients die and I have watched a lot of people die. I never want to have to put another patient in a body bag or walk a patient to the morgue and that's part of my job," said Mack.
Soon, vaccines became available and cases began to fall.
Mack, who was one of the first to walk the halls of the Green Valley Campus, escorted the last patient out in March 2021.
"It seems silly to say it was an honor and one of the highest highs of my career so far of being a nurse of eight years. I would make that choice to go to Green Valley again in a heartbeat and I would," said Mack.
"We were all a little bit happy and a little bit sad when the building was being closed but we knew that it served its purpose for its time," said Dr. Icard.
The team brought hope to those who needed a reason to fight.
Before the night ended, a toast... for each other, for those who were able to beat COVID and to remember those who didn't.
In closing, one of the lead physicians thanked everyone for their heroism, saying "you're the heart and soul of our group and without you none of this could have happened so again, thank you very much."