MARTIN COUNTY, Fla. — Local doctors and nurses are putting in countless hours to save the lives of COVID-19 patients. It is hard, draining work.
One of the patients right now inside Cleveland Clinic Martin North Hospital is a commercial fisherman known for his charter and charitable work.
This weekend, the fishing community is planning a flotilla to cruise behind the hospital to show health care workers appreciation for what they're doing to save their friend and others.
Travis Wilson, an area fisherman and organizer of the flotilla, said it is being done to "just show support."
Patrick Price, 42, the owner of Daymaker Charters, has been battling COVID-19 for nearly a month.
"Pat, I've known six or seven years now just from the water, being a fisherman," Wilson said. "People come to visit from all around the world fish his boat."
Wilson said Price puts his contacts and his boat access to good use.
"He's one of the biggest parts of this community with fishing tournaments, helping with veterans, a real staple to the community," Wilson said.
Price has helped the family of a young child battling cancer get their home remodeled. He also helped assist relief efforts in the Bahamas following Hurricane Dorian.
"During Dorian, [Price conducted] multiple flights and boat transports back and forth," Wilson said.
For several weeks Price documented his COVID-19 battle from the hospital by posting pictures on Facebook.
"Update after update, I’m like, 'Oh man, he's in the hospital. Oh man, he's on a ventilator," Wilson said.
Now, Price needs a transfer to another hospital to be put on an ECMO machine.
"The doctors here at Martin have said that is his best hope, I'd say," Wilson said.
Wilson feels support for health care workers has not been shown this summer the same way it was last year, despite case numbers being higher.
That's why he wanted to organize the flotilla to remind them the community is appreciative of their sacrifices.
Wilson was a cardiac patient years ago at the same hospital and credits the doctors for saving his life.
"If they didn't fight as long, I wouldn't be here. So, doctors are it. You've gotta give it to them," Wilson said.
The flotilla starts at 11 a.m. Saturday.
Boaters are welcome to come and go as they please. If you can't get on a boat, Wilson hopes you will find your own way to show healthcare workers support.
"Wave. Play a song. Do something. Show them that we still care you're in there and fighting for us," Wilson said.