When I heard the news that a massive hurricane was barrelling down on Louisiana on the day of Saturday, August 27, 2005, I immediately left work and headed home in order to make evacuation plans with my girlfriend (who is now my wife). I will call my girlfriend Kim for the purposes of this story. Since Kim was a doctor at Kenner Regional Hospital, she would have to stay in the city to tend to her patients at the hospital while I would evacuate to New Iberia, Louisiana, where my family lives. I gathered all of our valuables and crucial documents before taking Kim\'s car to the hotel downtown where I worked so we could park the car on the upper level of the parking garage. I left for New Iberia the following morning around 2 am while Kim slept before the storm arrived. Once I arrived in New Iberia, I called Kim to check in and to let her know that I had arrived safely, and then I waited. Katrina hit the Gulf Coast the following day as I stayed glued to the television. As I watched the destruction being unleashed on our beloved city, all I could think about was the well being of Kim and the others still stuck in the city. I tried to keep in touch with Kim as much as possible but cell phone towers were down and text messaging was the only means I had of checking on her. Our contact was spotty at best, partly due to the lack of cell phone reception and partly because of the chaos that was unfolding at the hospital. After four days of horror and constant worrying about Kim, I finally decided that the National Guard was not going to rescue the patients and doctors at the hospital as they said they would, so I decided that I would evacuate Kim myself. I packed what I felt was necessary to safely enter the city and get Kim out unharmed, as there were multiple reports of unlawful citizens trying to raid the hospital and carjack ambulances as they were transporting patients to and from the hospital. I made the trip from New Iberia to New Orleans, which usually takes about 2 hours, in about 45 minutes. I convinced one police officer at a checkpoint set up outside of Paradis to allow me to continue on closer New Orleans. I encountered a second checkpoint manned by a Louisiana State Trooper at the Hwy 310, I-10 split. I exited my truck and explained to the officer that my girlfriend was a doctor stuck at Kenner Regional Hospaital and that the situation there was dire and that I needed to get there in order to get her out of the city. He told me that the National Guard was planning a rescue and that I would not be allowed any furhter. I was not going to accept this as an answer, so I pleaded with the officer for about 15 minutes before he finally relented and allowed to continue on. I drove cautiously to the hospital as I noticed a mass exodus of people on the interstate. Words cannot describe the feeling I had as I drove past the carnage and the desperate people fleeing the city on foot. When I arrived at the hospital, I got out of my truck and ran as fast as I could towards the hospital. That was when I heard a voice scream out my name, \"Cory!\" I turned a ran towards the voice until I reached an SUV to find Kim in the back of it respirating a critical patient. The first thing that I noticed was how exhausted Kim looked and the ragged shape of her scrubs, which she had cut into shorts, due to the extreme heat in a hospital that had no air conditioning or running water for the past four days. She told me that the hospital staff was loading the last of the hospital\'s patients into their vehicles for transport to a hospital in Morgan City. I volunteered to serve as the lead vehicle in the caravan since I was familiar with the route we would take. Once all five vehicles were loaded with the remaining patients, we hurridly left for Morgan City. Our average speed on the way to Morgan City was probably about 100- 120 mph, sometimes going faster. I figured that since I was the lead vehicle in the group and I did not have any patients in my truck, I would go as fast as possible in order to get the patients the care that they so desperately needed, and in case a police officer would stop someone, it would be me. All of the vehicles in our group kept pace with me as we sped past multiple police vehicles, which did not even turn to look at us as we broke the speed limit by 25 - 40 mph. We arrived in Morgan City shortly after leaving and successfully unloaded the patients, without incident or harm to any of the patients on the ride.\r\nAfter dropping off the patients in Morgan City, Kim and I parted ways with the other Kenner Regional staff and made our way back to New Iberia. I do not really remember much of the rest of that day, except to say that Kim was concerned for her patients well being. Once we received word that the patients would be cared for and that her duties to them had been fulfilled, she seemed to let the tension out of her body and just breathe easily for the rest of the day. We didn\'t talk about what had happened during the storm or the events that transpired at the hospital in the aftermath at all that day. Later that night when we laid down for bed, Kim began to cry uncontrollably, as she was now out of harm\'s way and she could finally let her guard down. She told me of the unspeakable horrors that she witnessed as the storm hit, then passed, and she and a few other doctors, nurses and staff had to put aside their own well being in order to uphold their hipocratic oath as professionals in the medical field. She frantically worked to save the lives of patients who were very old, sick, critical, and on machines that relied on electric power and the city\'s water supply. There was virtually no sleep for days for the doctors and nurses who tried to keep patients alive long enough to get them transfered to other accepting hospitals in the closest areas. These medical paersonel faught exhaustion, the brutal Louisiana August heat, dehydration, malnurishment, the responsibility for the lives of others and the stress that goes along with that responsibilty, and the horrors of watching people die and go crazy all around them. Not one of these people considered themselves before the patients of the hospital. Instead, they did everything they could, including coming up with some ingenious ways to adapt to their surroundings and situation in order to save the lives of their patients. They saved as many people as they possibly could, and were extremely distraught over the ones that they couldn\'t save. Kim questioned whether she had done all that was in her power to save all of the patients, but I know that she had done more than most people could have in that situation, as did the rest of the staff at the hospital.\r\nKim and the rest of the staff at Kenner Regional Hospital are true heroes, although they refuse to take such credit. They did not do what they did for a pat on the back or to be glorified as heroes; rather, they did what they did because they took an oath to always do what is right for their patients and not what may be best for themselves. They were true examples of selfless individuals in extraordinary circumstances.



“[Untitled],” Hurricane Digital Memory Bank, accessed August 10, 2022, https://hurricanearchive.org/items/show/43150.