HOLLYWOOD, Fla. – Newborn babies in need of intensive medical care were among the Hurricane Ian victims who have been transferred to South Florida hospitals after the Category 4 storm.
Dr. Ronald Ford, of Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital in Broward County, said a neonatal intensive care unit in Fort Myers started to have issues on Thursday.
The Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida reported having issues with the building’s infrastructure and a lack of potable water.
“There were around 67 babies that were going to be moved out. We were able to offer a place for up to 22 of those babies and if we need to do more we will make room for them too,” Ford said on Friday.
The Florida Hospital Association reported Lee County hospitals are facing significant disruptions with its public water system. The hurricane prompted 10 hospitals to evacuate patients.
“We are just so proud that we can be part of the recovery. I can’t imagine what the families of those babies are going through right now — not only to have a sick or premature infant in the hospital — but then also having to deal with the loss of property, it is just hard to fathom,” Ford said.
Dr. Jorge Perez, of the Baptist Health South Miami Hospital in Miami-Dade County, also responded to help the little NICU patients. He said this reminded him of Hurricane Andrew in 1992.
“We know exactly what they are going through,” said Perez, the hospital’s NICU medical director.
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Reporting from Gulf Coast