Friday, September 02, 2005

Cynthia's Story

Mark's cousin, Cynthia, has made it out of New Orleans and is at her uncle's house here. She is safe with her mother and sister. Mark's uncle has not been heard from, but it is presumed that he is still in their home in New Orleans, hopefully safe. Please continue to pray that Uncle Noah makes it out safely, or that he remains safe in his home.

This is Cynthia's survival story she told to me today:

Cynthia works in a hospital in New Orleans as an x-ray technician. She "evacuated" to her hospital to help with the relief efforts before the hurricane came. Once the storm passed, she and other hospital workers along with patients and families were trapped in their hospital. People died daily from lack of medicine, lack of food and water, lack of anything and everything. The morgue, along with the pharmacy and the room that housed the generators was on the basement floor. The dead were moved to one part of the hospital while those that lived were kept in another wing.

Once she and a few others realized that most members of the staff were leaving, they also left. They were told to leave via the ambulance ramp at the ER entrance and that boats would pick them up there. Once they were picked up by the air boats, they were dropped off at a location in New Orleans and told to wait there; buses were coming for them. After eight hours, they were picked up by another boat and brought to the New Orleans Convention Center. At the Convention Center, they realized that if they entered the building, they would probably not survive the night. So the seventeen of them (with a baby and a toddler) waited out the night just outside the Convention Center. Three times they fell into a huddle when guns were fired nearby.

In the morning, she and her group bribed a man (with the $500 they had among them) with a Rider truck to bring them to the West Bank of New Orleans where they knew they would be moderately safer, plus they knew the hurricane had not done as much damage there. They were brought to the West Bank and were dropped off there. They were told they could not stay there, but once the authorities they spoke to realized they were from the Convention Center, they were advised to find a way out of the city completely for they were no safer on the West Bank than they had been back on the other side of the river.

Luckily, they escaped by finding two people in two separate SUVs that were heading to Baton Rouge. She arrived in Baton Rouge around 3:30 yesterday morning and called a cousin of ours. She was finally at her aunt and uncle's house and is fine.

I'm giving you the raw facts, the basics of her story. There is so much more involved there, including the fear of not knowing what was happening to the rest of her family as her mother and sister were at another hospital in New Orleans living their own nightmare.

Please, please, please...continue to pray for everyone affected by Hurricane Katrina.

1 comment:

Sarah said...

Oh Laurie, what a story. This whole thing sounds like something you would watch in a movie. Prayers for everyone effected by this hurricane