NASHVILLE, Tenn — In this time of coronavirus, many of us have found ways to say 'thank you' to our frontline heroes. There's no wrong way to say 'thank you', but one woman likes to show her gratitude in the biggest, boldest, brightest way she can.
"I work fulltime at all the hospitals in Nashville," said Ashley Tummins. "Saint Thomas West is one of them. I'm a certified nurse anesthetist. We put people to sleep for surgery."
Because of what she does, Tummins understands what a hospital staff faces in this time.
"I think it's hard for the staff knowing they're putting themselves at risk, their family at risk," she said.
Tummins had an idea of how she could say thank you.
"When I'm working in the operating room, I'll tell the surgeons, 'hey, guys. I opened a balloon business.' They'll say, 'Ashley, what is that?'" she laughed.
Tummins runs BCT Balloons and comes equipped with balloons of bright yellows, greens, blues, purples, reds, and cotton candy pinks. Friday morning, she pulled a huge balloon display out of a trailer in front of Saint Thomas West.
"Just wait. It'll be awesome," she smiled, assembling balloons on a railing next to the emergency room. "When it's starting to come together, and it looks amazing, it just pumps me up even more."
There's a final touch.
"I think the smiley faces represent me," she said, adding some yellow smiling balloons to the display. "I feel like I've always got a smile on my face."
"I think it turned out awesome."
The emergency room staff walked out of the hospital to see the completed design.
"Why am I smiling? I have my face mask on," laughed one emergency room staff member, posing for a picture in front of the balloon display.
Even with the masks, you could see it in their eyes. The staff appreciated the burst of color acknowledging the important work they're doing every day.