NICU staff stayed behind to care for 19 babies as Hurricane Laura wreaked havoc around them.
Hurricane Laura came bearing down on Lake Charles, Louisiana, last week. Amid the chaos and the storm, 19 babies lay in the NICU at Lake Charles Memorial Hospital. The winds, rains, and loss of power did not matter, these babies needed to be cared for, and the NICU staff was not about to let a Category 4 hurricane stop them from doing their jobs.
The city knew Laura was headed their way, preparations had been made, and a mandatory evacuation order was in place. But for neonatologist Dr. Juan Bossana, a team of 14 nurses, three respiratory therapists, and two neonatal nurse practitioners, there was no thought of leaving.
With 19 babies on respirators, ventilators, and in incubators, and many weighing just a few pounds, they moved all 19 babies and the equipment needed in just two hours. The team stayed in the NICU all night long, taking shifts to sleep and care for the babies. Despite being powered by generators, having no air condition, and losing water service, the team and all the babies safely made it through the night.
Dr. Bosssano told CNN that in such a small town people have to stick together, and commended the team who stayed to help care for the babies when they couldn't care for or be with their own families. Dr. Bosssano also posted updates throughout the night on his Facebook page, knowing that it may be the only way some families could check on their babies.
"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," Dr. Juan Bossano told CNN. "In a small town like this, people have to pull together. I'm proud of them."
Water service has been out in Lake Charles, and with both NICUs in the city out of working order for the moment, the babies have since been moved to other hospitals in the state. Lake Charles got hit extremely hard, taking on 120-135 miles per hour wind gusts.
The team at Lake Charles Memorial Hospital are examples of real-life heroes who put others before themselves without a second thought.
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