Lake Charles hospital staff stays behind to care for 19 NICU babies during Hurricane Laura

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Monday, August 31, 2020
Nurse talks decision to stay in NICU for babies during Laura
ABC News interviewed Leah Upton, one of the nurses who stayed back to care for 19 NICU babies during Hurricane Laura. Press play to hear what her experience was like caring for so many babies while Category 4 winds of Laura ripped up the community outside the hospital walls.

LAKE CHARLES, Louisiana -- Despite the raging winds and rain outside, leaky windows and no air conditioning or running water, nurses and other staff at Lake Charles Memorial Hospital kept their most critical baby patients safe and sound.

The team of 20 stayed behind while Hurricane Laura tore through the region.

They cared for 19 babies in their ICU.

Some of the infants were on respirators and ventilators. Others had been born extremely premature.

RELATED: Here's how people in Lake Charles are recovering from Hurricane Laura

Many of the infants had been to Memorial's smaller women's hospital campus on the southwest side of the city. Prior to the hurricane's worst impact, they had to be transported to the larger facility through rough conditions.

The babies have since been transferred to other hospitals across the state because the city of Lake Charles is still without water.

Some say not all heroes wear capes. The group of workers proved that as they stayed through the worst to keep the little ones safe.

RELATED: Residents who rode out Hurricane Laura seek help after storm