The day after Hurricane Katrina hit, the situation inside Charity Hospital was desperate. Water surrounded the seventy-year old building, power was gone, and the backup generators were flooded.
With the water rising, Dr. Peter DeBlieux and his staff set up a makeshift emergency department in a second-floor auditorium for fifty critically ill patients, carrying the sick up the stairs in the stifling heat.
“In the space of an hour and a half, we moved our entire emergency room up one flight of stairs,” said Dr. DeBlieux. “Using flashlights, we jerryrigged ventilators to breathe for people. It was amazing.”