Saturday, September 10, 2005

Bill Quigley and His Wife Stayed Behind to Staff NOLA's Memorial Hospital

Bill Quigley, who stayed behind in NOLA with his wife, Debbie, an oncology nurse, tells his story to Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! August 31, 2005:

So who’s left behind in New Orleans right now, you are talking about tens of thousands of people who are left behind, and those are the sickest, the oldest, poorest, the youngest, the people with disabilities and the like, and the plan was that everybody should leave. Well, you can’t leave if you’re in a hospital. You can’t leave if you’re a nurse. You can’t leave if you are a patient. You can’t leave if you’re in a nursing home. You can't leave if you don't have a car. All of these things. They didn’t have – there wass no plan for that.

Mr. Quigley also sent an email to friends asking for support. The date is unclear but the letter is probably from either the 29th or 30th of August:

Dear Friends:

There are about 1300 people here who need help. I would appreciate it if you could forward this information to federal and state authorities and press in the US and in Louisiana to make sure these sick people are cared for. Some had transplant surgery this AM!

I am in Memorial Hospital in New Orleans. We have nearly 200 very sick people, hundreds of staff and hundreds more families. The hospital has some basic electricity but many rooms have no electricity and many stairwells have no electricity/ There is no a/c and no external windows. We cannot phone out and can receive few incoming calls. The water is rising and the hospital is already surrounded by water. Once the water hits the first floor, the computers, the email, all intercoms, and all internal communication inside the hospital will cease.

Our phones do not work so this is the only way I can reach out. This is not official but what I have been able to find out from listening to many, many people here.

The City of New Orleans is completely overwhelmed. No electricity. Incredible wind damage and now a broken levee that is flooding the
city even further.

Please make sure that someone is working to make sure these sick people and their families are helped.

They need care. For hours they have been announcing that patients are
going to be medivaced (is this a word?) to other hospitals and shelters. But little real action so far.

I know there is much, much to do out there, but these sick people
need attention asap.

Please reach out in whatever way you can to make sure these folks are
cared for.

Peace and love,
Bill Quigley
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