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Nurses Drive Across State Lines To Rescue Babies From Hurricane-Damaged Hospital

A team of Texas nurses recently drove across state lines to rescue babies in the neonatal intensive care unit of a Louisiana hospital that had been seriously damaged by Hurricane Laura.

As Good Morning America reported, CHRISTUS Ochsner Lake Area Hospital in Lake Charles, Louisiana, was hit especially hard by the Category 4 storm's more than 100 mph winds, and had four infants in need of a facility transfer.

Its sister hospital, CHRISTUS Southeast Texas St. Elizabeth in Beaumont, Texas, had thankfully been spared by the storm and was able to offer its assistance.

"Knowing that it's been us in that same position many times before, there was no question about whether or not to help," Paul Trevino, president and CEO of CHRISTUS Southeast Texas Health System, said in a statement to GMA.

"After the storm passed, we immediately began working with leaders at our system office and Louisiana hospitals to understand their needs and enacted plans to safely move a handful of special needs patients from their hospital to ours."

A team of NICU nurses, including a respiratory therapist and a neonatal nurse practitioner, wasted no time heading to the damaged facility.

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They gathered all the high-tech equipment they would need to safely transfer the four babies, as well as two car seats which had been graciously donated by a pair of parents with twins being cared for at the Beaumont hospital.

"This transport team has to be prepared for anything that may happen during the trip," neonatologist and NICU director Dr. Lauree Thompson said in a statement. "Everything from medications, to procedure and intubation equipment and feeding supplies made the trip."

The Texas hospital shared photos and news of the NICU nurses' cross-state mission on Instagram last week.

"Today, our #christusheroes from CHRISTUS Southeast Texas - St. Elizabeth’s Neonatal Transport Team embarked on a mission to the hard-hit area of Lake Charles, Louisiana to help transport #NICU patients to our nearest safe facility," the post reads.

"Please join us in prayer for a safe trip and return."

The three-hour round trip to Lake Charles and then back again to Beaumont was entirely without complication, a hospital spokesperson told GMA.

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That spokesperson also confirmed the hurricane-ravaged Louisiana hospital had to evacuate all of its patients, with some being transferred to various facilities in Baton Rouge, Lafayette, and Monroe.

The four rescued babies are now being expertly cared for at St. Elizabeth while staff members work closely with their parents.

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"A NICU stay is not usually something parents expect to face while they are anticipating the arrival of their newborn," Kelli Huebel, registered nurse and NICU transport coordinator at the hospital, told the outlet. "So, a stay in the NICU combined with needing to transport their baby from one state to another is especially stressful."

She added, "Our job is to love, support and care for these babies and their families."

h/t: Good Morning America