A Katrina survivor with a disability tells her story

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A Katrina survivor with a disability tells her story

By evening the medical center was inundated – water rose several feet into the first floors of buildings. Everyone in the hospital spent the night on upper floors, waiting for their chance to get out. Nix, who usually worked the night shift on the fifth floor, continued to attend to patients. Then the backup generators began to fail.

Conditions deteriorated, especially for Nix, who has mobility issues caused by cerebral palsy. “I remember that it was hot and we didn’t have power, so it was miserable,” she said. Medical staff began gathering in pockets of the hospital where it was cooler. That crowded Nix, who uses a walker.

The next day patients started climbing stairs to the seventh floor of the parking garage, where Blackhawk and Chinook helicopters waited. As part of the hospital staff, Nix stayed behind another night, caring for patients that remained.

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