An alumna of the WSU College of Nursing led a drive to raise money to buy dozens of pizzas for the staff of a hospital in Las Vegas after 58 people were killed at a concert there.

Crystal Burris, an emergency department nurse at Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane, told KHQ-TV that she and a co-worker were watching coverage of the mass-casualty incident and wondering how they could help.

“We like Vegas. We go to Vegas. And we’re also ER nurses. So we thought immediately when we saw the news of the shooting, that could’ve been us,” she told the TV station.

Staff at Sunrise Hospital in Las Vegas took a picture with the pizzas sent by ER staff at Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane.
Staff at Sunrise Hospital in Las Vegas took a picture with the pizzas sent by ER staff at Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane.

Burris and her co-worker started a fund-raising drive to collect money to send pizza to the ER staff at Sunrise Hospital in Las Vegas, which is the closest trauma center to the Las Vegas strip. Sunrise treated 199 patients after the Oct. 1 shooting at a country music festival in the city, 16 of whom died. More than 50 patients had undergone surgery at the hospital within the first 24 hours after the shooting.

Burris said she and her co-worker were surprised at the number of donations they received – $1,200 in all. They sent more than 20 large pizzas, sandwiches, and salads to the ER staff at Sunrise Hospital, according to KHQ.