24 May 2011

Hospital Excitement: Potential Tornadoes

At about 8:30PM tonight, we had a bit of excitement tonight at the hospital. Oliver and Brian had returned home to the Ronald McDonald House for the evening. Bennett had been just put to sleep a few minutes before I stepped out to use the hospital computer in the hall. All of the sudden I heard the tornado sirens going off.

After determining this sound was not an ambulance going to the Baylor Medical Center down the road, I got up from the computer and went looking for a nurse to find out what we should do.  Not seeing any nurses at the nurse station, I ran into the on-call doctor who had just come up on the floor to talk to the charge nurse about it.

Concerned that we might be in the path of a tornado, the nurses began going room to room to wake up patients and asking parents to bring their children into the hall.  Bennett hadn't fallen asleep yet so I picked him up with a blanket and rolled his IV pole (holding his feeding pump) outside to the hall and shut our hospital door behind me.

Children and parents began emerging from their rooms.  The children (all age 3 and under), now exposed again to the bright overhead lights, began waking up from their nightly "naps".  The children here who do not have parents who stay with them at night are cared for by their nurses.  My heart broke to think a child would have to go through this sort of chaotic moment without their parent or caregiver with them.  One little baby sits daily without a parent to hold her or care for her.  Who would throw their body over her should a tornado come through, I thought.  I would, my heart replied.

I texted Brian to make sure he and Oliver were safe at the Ronald McDonald House.  Turns out, they had been taken to the Ronald McDonald conference room where there were no windows.  All Ronald McDonald families ended up being crammed into this room for two hours (until the tornado warning in Dallas county was cancelled later that evening).

But at the hospital, before the nurses had a chance to move the children on ventilators to the hallway, the charge nurse reversed this decision stating Baylor Security had not determined this was necessary.  So, in a matter of a half an hour, children began disappearing from the hallway and put back in their rooms.  The cries of children being forced back into bed after being woken up from sleep filled the floor.  Poor kids.

I kept Bennett up about 45 minutes before finally relenting that we weren't likely to have any more sirens go off (although, the evening was filled with storms passing through) and it was wise to lay him back down again.  Fortunately, no tornado ever ended up running through Dallas and the floor became boring again after 9:30pm.

Thankful Moment #21: I am thankful for a hospital that is still standing.  My heart goes out to those in Joplin, Missouri who were in the hospital, like us, and without warning were in the path of a tornado.  I can imagine how scary that must have been.  It's so easy to feel safe inside a big hospital building like this.  But the reality is tornadoes do not discriminate.  I am thankful for safety.

1 comment :

  1. :( My car got lots of dents on it from the hail that evening. But, thankfully, nothing too bad happened!


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