Staff of Lake Charles Memorial Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) stayed behind to keep 19 babies safe as Hurricane Laura howled toward Lake Charles, Louisiana Thursday.
A team of 14 nurses, 2 neonatal nurse practitioners and 3 respiratory therapists, along with Dr. Juan Bossano hunkered down in the NICU all night.
“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 in an interview.
“In a small town like this, people have to pull together. I’m proud of them.”
The staff split themselves into two teams and took shifts to care for the little angels, and try to get enough sleep when they could.
Bossano, who has been a neonatologist for more than 30 years, shared how the staff had their hands full.
He also posted updates about the babies on his Facebook page during the rough night, to calm the fears of many of the parents who were worried about their little ones.
Vice President and administrator for Lake Charles Memorial Hospital for Women Alesha Alford noticed how well the staff came together in the uncertain situation.
“It was scary for everyone,” said Alford, “When the winds got so bad, we had to move our patients into the hallways. Staff were sleeping in the hallways with patients.”
The director of communications for Lake Charles Memorial Health system Matt Felder announced that the little patients were moved before conditions became too dangerous.
“In two hours’ time, we transferred 19 NICU babies from that facility to our main campus,” he said.
“They did it in record time, 19 babies across the city in under two hours.”
Doctors, residents, the sheriff’s department and others assisted in the transport of the little ones, along with all of the equipment and supplies the staff needed to keep the babies safe.