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Culture

Louisiana NICU Staff Stayed Behind To Care For 19 Babies During Hurricane Laura

By Erica Jimenez·· 2 min read
nicu-babies-lake-charles-hurricane-laura
CNN

Last week, Hurricane Laura ripped through the town of Lake Charles, Louisiana. Inside the hospital, NICU staff stayed through the storm to care for the 19 babies trapped there.

Last week, Hurricane Laura ripped through the town of Lake Charles, Louisiana. Inside the hospital, NICU staff stayed through the storm to care for the 19 babies trapped there.

One of the nurses was Lindsey Anne Fournet, an alumna of my sorority, Chi Omega. Her story was featured on our national Facebook page, which highlights great achievements in the organization. She’s now joined a legacy of great Chi Omega women; astronaut sister Kate Rubins of my own chapter made history by spending 115 days in the International Space Station.

Fournet and her fellow nurses may not have rocketed into space, but they did something just as heroic. A team of one doctor, 14 nurses, two neonatal practitioners, and three respiratory therapists took shelter overnight while the Category 4 storm raged outside. Some of the infants in their care were on respirators and ventilators. The smallest patients were only one to two pounds, including premature babies born at 23 weeks.

Winds outside the hospital howled by at 120-135 miles an hour. The air conditioning in the hospital was out, and in the middle of the night, they lost the water as well.

Thanks to the heroic actions of Fournet and her team, their 19 fragile patients all survived the hurricane.

The babies had already been evacuated from their original hospital, Lake Charles Memorial Hospital for Women, over concerns that flooding would overwhelm the single-story hospital. Water was out at Lake Charles Memorial for multiple days, and the babies have been safely transferred to surrounding hospitals in the state.

Thanks to the heroic actions of Fournet and her team, their 19 fragile patients all survived the hurricane, no worse for wear. Maybe now they can finally get some sleep.

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