Mother of Tri-Cities vaccinated teen speaks on hospital preparations


JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL)- The mother of one of the first teens in the Tri-Cities to be vaccinated for COVID-19 is speaking out on hospital preparations.

Just over five months ago, 17-year-old Noah Cook became the first teenager under the age of 18 to be vaccinated against the virus in Johnson City. Cook is no stranger to hospitals, having received chemotherapy for T-Cell Lymphoblastic Lymphoma for the past two years.

Ballad Health Chief Infection Prevention Officer Jamie Swift reported Wednesday that almost one-third of all new COVID-19 cases being diagnosed by the hospital system are children.

Cook’s mother, Suzanne Cook, recently told News Channel 11 that she has seen first-hand how prepared area hospitals are in the wake of growing concerns, as the COVID-19 delta variant continues to spread throughout the community.

“Ironically, we had to be admitted this week,” said Suzanne Cook. “But we didn’t find it to be any trouble whatsoever, and I don’t know about the staffing, but we felt well cared for. We felt everything was going just fine.”

Ballad Health says at this time they feel they have enough available beds and ventilators in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. On Thursday, Ballad Health reported Niswonger Children’s Hospital was treating three pediatric COVID-19 patients.

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