NICU Staffers Stay Behind as Hurricane Laura Strikes

'I'm proud of them,' says doctor at Lake Charles Memorial Hospital
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 30, 2020 1:10 PM CDT
What Hurricane? Hospital Staff Stays for 19 Babies
A radar image of Hurricane Laura is culled from a news report.   (YouTube/KVUE)

Nineteen babies already have a story to tell—and people to thank. Several NICU staffers stayed behind at a Louisiana hospital this week as Hurricane Laura ripped into the state, CNN reports. Amid howling winds and leaky windows, Dr. Juan Bossano and a group of 14 nurses, 3 respiratory therapists, and 2 neonatal nurse practitioners hunkered down at Lake Charles Memorial Hospital to oversee the little ones. "It's important to know the dedication of all the nurses and the respiratory therapists to keep taking care of the babies when they don't even know the condition of their homes," Bossano said Thursday. "In a small town like this, people have to pull together. I'm proud of them."

Bossano said some of the infants were on ventilators and respirators and weighed as little as two pounds; some were born premature at less than 6 months. What's more, the babies had just been transferred from Lake Charles Memorial Hospital for Women to the central hospital earlier in the day before Laura arrived. The hurricane then hit Lake Charles with the storm's eye wall and 120-135mph winds, forcing a mandatory evacuation—except for the NICU staffers, who took overnight shifts as the air conditioning died and the water went off. "Some say not all heroes wear capes," reports KRTK. "The group of workers proved that as they stayed through the worst to keep the little ones safe." A health official says the tiny patients will be moved to other Louisiana hospitals. (Read more uplifting news stories.)

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