NEW BERN, N.C (WNCT) – If you’re visiting CarolinaEast Medical Center, you might notice something a little different in front of its entrance. 

The hospital unveiled a brand-new sculpture dedicated to healthcare workers Tuesday morning. “Perseverance” is the name of the sculpture, and it’s in honor of those on the frontline who pushed through during the coronavirus pandemic.  

With the New Bern Fire Department’s help in taking the tarp off, the sculpture was revealed to dozens of community members, officials and healthcare workers. Many in the crowd were emotional because of what this piece of art meant to them.  

“We made it through, no matter what we see, we can get through it,” said one nurse at CarolinaEast Medical Center, Christi Herbst. 

Herbst worked in the COVID-19 Care Unit during the height of the pandemic.  

“We all counted the cost, our families counted the cost and were willing to become infected along with this because they believed in what we were doing and we showed up to work,” said Herbst. 

Herbst said it was a difficult time, but they persevered.  

“In April of 2020, some of us were at work in the COVID Unit when we heard the news that one of our own employees had died from the virus. I can tell you we all counted the cost again that day. And still, we answered every call,” said Herbst. 

The sculptor of the statue, Brad Spencer, described the piece. 

“On one side you have the worker walking forward like they’re going in to treat a patient and putting on the mask. Then on the other side, when [their] shift is over, and the mask comes down, then you see the face and the emotion that comes through with the sorrow,” said Spencer. 

After four months of work and over 400 bricks, “Perseverance” sits at the entrance of CarolinaEast to remind people of the dedication and sacrifice of healthcare workers. 

“I wanted this to be kind of a meditative place. And to remind them of the, of really what it takes to care for people, especially during such a crisis as COVID is,” said Spencer.