Extraordinary People

Babies in intensive care sheltered by nurses as hurricane winds batter hospital at 137 mph

Storms wreaked havoc as thousands of families left without homes.

At just a few days old, a group of newborn babies were blissfully unaware as a hurricane ripped its way across their city.

Fortunately for the sleeping beauties, some of who are on ventilators, their nurses came to the rescue to protect them as category 4 Hurricane Laura wreaked havoc.

Category 4 is the second-highest hurricane classification, with storms of this intensity considered extreme and reaching winds up to 136 knots (156 mph).

Sadly, the 19 babies could not be taken home and protected by family as they were all in neonatal intensive care already fighting for their lives.

[Credit: Luma Pimentel]

Consequently, when the mandatory evacuation was ordered in Louisiana, USA, staff members at the Lake Charles Memorial Hospital transformed into fairy godmothers.


The babies were quickly transported from the single-story hospital to the main campus, where they could be protected from winds on a higher level of the 10-floor building.

While the operation was carried out in record-time of just two hours, staff struggled in 35°C heat as the air conditioning failed and the hospital lost access to water.

Instead of staff going home themselves, they remained in the ward along with the neonatologist and three respiratory therapists to care for the tiny tots.

The fallout of the hurricane rages on as more than 11,000 evacuees are taking shelter after losing power for weeks or in some cases, entire homes have been flattened.

Speaking about the mission, neonatologist [specialist in caring for newborn babies, particularly those who are ill or born prematurely] Dr Bossano said: “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 own homes.

“In a small town like this, people have to pull together. I’m proud of them.”

Dr Bossano, who kept parents updated from afar during the storm via Facebook posts, also told CNN: “This morning because the babies were stable, I got a couple of hours of sleep – we are still in the hospital.”

Now, that’s a baby story to be proud of when the parents dig out embarrassing photos to show their kids’ prom dates in years to come.

[Credit: CBC News]

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