Sunday, September 11, 2005

Stranded in the Touro Infirmary

New Orleans journalist and former City Pages staffer Katy Reckdahl was stranded in the Touro Infirmary with her husband and brand new baby boy, who had been born as the hurricane hit NOLA: (via Rox Populi)

I went down to the nursery to check on Hector. He had been slumbering really well and I was holding him, just kind of hanging out in the cool air. All of a sudden, there was an impromptu nurses meeting which was led by this head nurse, Miss Charlotte. There were no uniforms left in the hospital and she was dressed in a tiny tank top and these little shorts. Everyone was dressed like that. Miss Charlotte gave this passionate speech, saying, "Okay, it's up to us to keep this hospital running. I know you guys are tired, but you're doing a great job. Everyone here has worked hard. I just want to see a show of hands of people who can stay on. If you have to go, go. I'm not making any judgments."

One nurse said she had to take her elderly mom and leave town. The other nurses were saying, "Melanie, we know you need to do that. Leave us here. We'll take care of the patients." Others were saying, "You can count on me to stay." So it seemed like we were in there for the long haul.

Also via Rox: The story of Katy's colleague, who got out of the city before the storm hit.


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