August 27th, 2010
06:53 PM ET

Charity's last hours: Brutal, beautiful

Five years after Hurricane Katrina battered Charity Hospital, pain and fear, hope and triumph, still echo through its walls.

The building is like a tomb, a thin film of dust covers relics from the last day the hospital was operational in 2005: patient logs, syringes, wheelchairs, gurneys, and Bibles with their pages curled and yellowing.

The hospital is pitch black on most floors, except where occasional slats of yellow light creep through unshuttered windows. It is eery, and quiet - nothing like when the hospital was open and bustling.
"I can close my eyes and I can picture what it looked like when this place was busy," said Dr. Roderick Bennett (a third-year ER resident when Katrina hit New Orleans, five years ago this weekend) while standing in the old building this week. "It was bustling and there was always chaos and commotion but you just loved it."

Bennett and two other doctors who braved Katrina at Charity, and saved dozens, perhaps hundreds, of  lives, recently revisited the hospital with CNN. Their memories were bittersweet, especially when they recalled the long wait and the broken promises about rescue for themselves and their ailing patients.

"I think a lot of us were uncertain as to what was going to happen, what would be the next chapter and there was a lot of angst over that," said Dr. Ben Deboisblanc, an intensive care specialist who led a coordinated effort to airlift patients out of Charity after the hurricane hit. "But nonetheless, to watch all these young men and women do the work that they did under duress was a beautiful thing. I can't overstate how exciting it was to be able to take care of people in their greatest hour of need, which is I think the greatest privilege in life."

When it was still open, Charity Hospital had 2,680 beds and served many of the city's poor and uninsured patients.

"Charity Hospital was an icon. It is still an iconic symbol in many people's minds," said Dr. Ruth Berggren, formerly an infectious disease physician at Charity. "I mean, people talk about being born in Charity Hospital and their mama's mama's mama being born in Charity Hospital."

The likelihood of anyone else being born at Charity is slim, since the hospital's chances of re-opening, at the moment - look slim. There are plans to open what is being described as a state-of-the-art $1.2 billion facility a short distance away from the old Charity building. Officials say that the facility will be a bioscience hub and a destination for both medical students and doctors.

According to a website dedicated to it, the new facility will have 424 patient beds, five trauma rooms, 76 emergency department stations, 23 operating rooms and "...will feature best practices of evidence-based healthcare design."

Still, at least some former Charity doctors fear that the new center will not be the haven for the poor that Charity once was, and will take too many years (the new medical center is expected to open in 2014) to provide medical care that is desperately needed post-Katrina.

Bennett, and a coalition of community groups, are among those pressing to re-open Charity.

"My heart still hurts for Charity Hospital," said Bennett. "Watching how long it's taken us to recover and how it's just devastated the lives of a city with so much heart, that's what hurts. Health care here has been compromised for the indigent people who need it and I think this building could have been at the heart of that solution."

"It's here because of a desire to make health care available to people who don't have access," said Berggren, who is now director of the Center for Medical Humanities & Ethics at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. "To just shut Charity down without trying to reopen it, that's very sad. That's tragic."

Meanwhile the looming, dusty Charity building still stands – devoid of patients, devoid of life – while the past still echoes through it.

soundoff (848 Responses)
  1. stephanie

    I guess I am about to sound like a broken record here but my oldest son was born in that hospital over 26 years ago. To say that hospital is "iconic" is really an understatment. More like historical. OMGosh, I remember so much about that hospital. It was dirty and it had the old fashioned elevators that had the metal gate type doors you had to pull closed, it had the old style crank beds, 16 beds to a "ward", old fashioned high back wooden wheelchairs. The best things about that hospital? They saved my son's life, literally. That hospital had the BEST Dr.'s to be that no amount of money could have ever paid for. The most dedicated and professional and caring staff that you cannot and will not ever find in the most expensive treatment centers. Appearences were truely deceiving when it came to Charity Hospital. That hospital had the most up to date medical equipment and the smartest, best of the best interns and access to any and all specialist all over the country. I will never forget the time they flew in a specialist from Texas to the heliport on top of the hospital (that I did not even know existed until then) for my son. I was young and poor at that time. I could have never even thought to have been able to afford care like that for my child, no matter how much I love him, but Charity hospital made it happen. They not only brought my son into this world but they kept him alive in it as well. I will never forget the name of the intern that delivered my son, Pete. Hey, if you were an intern @ Charity hospital in 1984 and delivered a baby boy on May 14 and your name is Pete, I am sending prayers and best wishes your way with fondest memories and many thanks and much gratitude. I actually have much gratitude for many of the staff at that hospital that I will never be able to remember their names. I think that is going to be the sadest part of that hospital never re-opening it's doors again. The lower income community can certainly use a place like that. Everyone in that city always knew if you had no insurance or money you could go to Charity hospital. Oh yes, the wait would be hours upon hours upon hours. I one time sat there for 13 hours with a broken leg waiting to get seen. But when I did get treated it was the best treatment, nothing second rate about it, and I was treated with dignanty. No one ever made anyone feel poor or lower class there. I think that was probably the best part of that hospital. Oh of course all people have off days and there were sometimes that I'm sure some one was inappropriate with a patient or two but when push came to shove the professionals behind the scenes really knew their stuff. What a loss to the whole city!!! More sadness.

    August 27, 2010 at 19:38 | Report abuse | Reply
    • ken

      What a wonderful heart felt email! It says a lot about you that you would write this expression of gratutude after all those years! Way to go Stephanie!!

      signed...just a reader of CNN

      August 27, 2010 at 21:59 | Report abuse |
    • Kathy

      Beautiful story, Stephanie. Thank you for sharing.

      August 27, 2010 at 22:29 | Report abuse |
    • UtahJames

      I was very much moved by the story and by your post Stephanie. To take the time and put your story out there takes courage and is very much appreciated by the vast majority of us readers.

      My heart still hurts for NOLA and our prayers will continue for brighter days for the entire region.

      August 28, 2010 at 03:09 | Report abuse |
    • Johnny

      Be Part of the solution TheGeoFoundation.com

      August 28, 2010 at 03:12 | Report abuse |
    • Angela

      Stephanie, what a wonderful story and remembrance of Charity Hospital . . .it literally brought tears to my eyes. I hope they can re-open it. I will soon be an RN and would love to work there . .make some more wonderful and poignant memories for the next 100 years . .

      August 28, 2010 at 04:21 | Report abuse |
    • Izzy

      What a lovely lovely tribute, Stephanie! You may be poor but you certainly are gifted!

      August 28, 2010 at 08:06 | Report abuse |
    • Eric

      What a touching story Stephanie, thanks for sharing. What I don't understand is why is it that the government pledged all this money to rebuild New Orleans and there are still piles of garbage there, parts of the city without hydro and water and there are so many people out of work. Why don't they send them in to clean up New Orleans and rebuild it? So sad that this city and part of your country has been allowed to stay like this.

      August 28, 2010 at 08:06 | Report abuse |
    • Dave

      Louisiana has a system of charity hospitals and Charity NO (New Orleans) proved itself to be one of the most important during the storms (I was in BR at the time). There will never be "too many" hospitals, and doctors and nurses will always be attracted to such a hospital for an opportunity to perform good acts.

      Unfortunately, Louisiana manages its money like....Louisiana, politics as usual.

      August 28, 2010 at 08:39 | Report abuse |
    • casondra

      That is really sad i say go over there and fight for them and that really sucks if they shut them down i was never brout up or born in a cherity hostpidle but i still say fight for them!!!!!!!!! that is really stupid though bye hope you children fills better soon

      August 28, 2010 at 09:04 | Report abuse |
    • TammyB

      I wish more people were like you, truly grateful in life for the things they have been given, and grateful for people who helped you along the way. In this "me, me, me" society we have going on now, it's so nice to hear somebody praise people who probably got dumped on more often than not. You are an extraordinary kind of person, who sees the good in everyone, I can tell, and I wish there were more people just like you in the world! Peace to you and your son!

      August 28, 2010 at 14:58 | Report abuse |
    • ny mom

      What an amazing story, Stephanie. Thank you for sharing it!

      August 28, 2010 at 19:01 | Report abuse |
    • Dr Perry Fisher

      Your comments indicate that you did not have antenatal care or insurance,Where was your husban ,you know, the person helping you to make that baby you had........you should get a job try birth control and get an education

      September 19, 2010 at 22:14 | Report abuse |
  2. Andy Mansell

    What an awesome story Stephanie, thank you for sharing:)

    August 27, 2010 at 20:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Ed

    It is sad. Hopefully it can re-open if nothing more as a survivor. It shows that the patient does exist and people care. Unfortunately that does not happen in healthcare now at most facilities. They are only concerned with the bottom line. I worked in healthcare for 35 years and would give anything to be able to turn the clock back to when the patient mattered and hospitals were run as institutions of caring and not like a big business.

    August 27, 2010 at 21:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Kathy Garrett

    The video clip was very moving. However, according to the clip, there were no nurses working there?

    August 27, 2010 at 22:33 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Medic

      While they only interviewed doctors, most of the people with the patients were nurses.

      August 29, 2010 at 00:38 | Report abuse |
  5. NURSE

    what a great story. I can't even begin to imagine what it was like, during that time to care for patients under those conditions. my heart goes out to the dedicated staff, and of course the patients. to Dr Fisher, I have worked with many fine nurses, and physicians, from Lousiana who are dedicated, and professional. Having only worked for the past 40 years as a registered nurse here in Texas, I cannot relate to working conditions in Lousiana hospitals. Perhaps, when we get Obama care, hospitals in Lousiana, will be better off, and you will finally be satisfied. Perhaps you could get on a committe, and help with the Obama health care system to improve, what you say is lacking.

    August 27, 2010 at 23:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Chester

    Even with all the hate. I still love people and that is what we need to remembe love one anotherr!! I am not rich or poor but sad!! We can get through this with all your help! Haters stop it!

    August 28, 2010 at 02:48 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Johnny

      You can help TheGeoFoundation.com

      August 28, 2010 at 03:12 | Report abuse |
  7. Colorado CCRN

    Way back in my misguided youth, I spent five nights at Charity after being trampled during Mardi Gras. While I was down in the street, my wallet was stolen, leaving me unconscious, with swelling of the brain, and without ID. The people at Charity didnt drop it there. Somehow, one of the CNAs found my friends and they brought ID for me from the hotel. I woke up 36 hours after I got in there and they knew who I was, despite the fact that it would have been just as easy to leave me as a "John Doe" until I woke up. But they didnt. They cared, and having gone on to be a nurse, its a characteristic I have tried to maintain in my own career. It's extremely sad to see such a great facility fall by the wayside in the false name of "progress".

    @Kathy Garrett: There were definitely nurses there. A few days ago, the national geographic channel ran a program that was entirely composed of amateur video taken before, during and after the storm. One of the featured videos was made by a nurse at Charity and it went much farther than this article in showing the conditions at the hospital, as well as talking about things like the fact that people outside were actually firing guns AT the hospital.

    @Dr Perry Fisher: I'm calling you out completely. You are not a doctor. You have never been a doctor. With your attitude, you will never be a doctor. I'm absolutely positive of that based on the evidence you alone have provided. Your spelling is that of an uneducated teenager, completely incompetent of spelling even the simplest of words. Your grammar is nonexistent. Your take and perceptions on the medical community are singular, pointed, and of the "misguided child with a blog" variety. I have been a nurse for over 10 years. I have worked with thousands of medical professionals. I have never met a doctor with your views and attitude. I have never met a doctor who was incapable of writing a coherent sentence. Contrary to what you might believe, being a doctor often requires publishing papers and case studies. Nurses frequently have to write care plans and intervention actions. Everyone has to fill out forms and charts. Your complete inability to compose even the simplest argument without a thousand spelling mistakes simply tells us that you dont have the education required to do so. Nobody here is impressed with your incessant nonsensical rantings. You dont know what you're talking about, and even if you happened upon a pearl of wisdom, you wouldnt be able to express it in a decent fashion.

    August 28, 2010 at 02:55 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Johnny

      Please help us TheGeoFoundation.com

      August 28, 2010 at 03:11 | Report abuse |
    • JJ

      I remember watching the news during the aftermath of Hurrican Katrina and seeing the fine folks in their time of need... looting stores and carrying out large electronics. And yes, as helicopters tried to land on the roof and evacuate patients, at least one upstanding citizen of New Orleans thought it would be the best use of his time to fire at the helicopter repeatedly.

      August 28, 2010 at 04:02 | Report abuse |
    • Dr Perry Fisher

      Just who or what can you call out you got mugged in New Orleans ,,,,,you were probably attending a cathouse or gay bar got high on something got marked than taken for the fool you are...I dont have to call you out after reading your toilet language poost I conclude trhat youy are just the average internet scumbab,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,you are not a nurse or anything of signifance except for a vile piece of dodo

      September 19, 2010 at 22:20 | Report abuse |
    • Dr Perry L. Fisher

      After your waste of time and waste of oxygen, Charity Hospital is still boarded up.You are just a wasted perhaps less crack etc my reverse your delusional state. Go take your medications and go to bed on your way to bed dont forget to stop by the bathroom and rinse those skid marks from the seat of your panties,,,,,,,,,,,,,, 'CCRN' what a crock of dodo

      December 13, 2012 at 10:23 | Report abuse |
  8. Mark Jumaga

    And really, what other purpose is our government for? If rebuilding a hospital destroyed by natural calamity is not the function of government, then what is? My heart is broken that an America that should have stood so proud in the past has so lost it's way, lost it's heart, lost it's very soul. Our love for decency and the common man has been supplanted by greed and the lust for power in our dreams – and in our government supported by our dreams. My heart bleeds for the America that used to bring tears to my eyes when I heard the words of JFK, or King on July 4th. They urged us to a higher calling but we have lost our way. We have lost the soul of America.

    August 28, 2010 at 03:07 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Johnny

      Please visit TheGeoFoundation.com

      August 28, 2010 at 03:11 | Report abuse |
    • Not fooled

      Not all of us have lost our way. A lot of us feel the way you do. Help President Obama and vote. Get all your friends to vote. That's the only way we can beat the greed and find the soul of America again. We don't need money to do that, we just need to VOTE.

      August 28, 2010 at 04:04 | Report abuse |
  9. Doug

    I went to New Orleans several years ago and stayed at the Hyatt downtown.. They warned us not to leave the hotel after 9 and not to carry any cash, the told son and I to carry our wallets in our front pockets.. I have stayed in every large American city and this was my first experience with people so unruly they can't stop robbing or killing.. I would never go back there, I don;t trust those people down there, they have been robbing our government since the hurricane and they will continue to do so until we finally say enough... I don't speak for everyone there, but it surely must be most, because I would never stay in a place this deplorable ever !

    August 28, 2010 at 03:08 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Charlotte Crist

      I was born into a Jazz family in New Orleans and raised in and out of the City. As a young adult I had my first apartment on Royal St. with many fond memories. I traveled the US on a "working vacation" to see the country and gained a new perspective and appreciation for my home city. After living the island lifestyle on the West Coast of Fl., Cape Cod and then Key West I was home sick. When Katrina drowned my city I told my husband I wanted to return to New Orleans to help rebuild it. It took three years for me to convince him it was the right move. Two years ago I returned, worked in the tourist industry and one year ago I opened a very small business on Bourbon St. as a Tour Broker. I laugh at the tourists who ask me about the many precautions they should take while here in New Orleans. I truly believe that the major hotels are using scare tactics to keep your dollars within their own boundaries. There is no other City in the world like New Orleans and the people here have open hearts for everyone. Did I mention that I'm a white middle aged female operating in a predominately black city? The words "Hello", "Good Morning", "Baby" and " Sweetheart" go a long way with the locals...in fact it is a natural way to communicate in our city. I'm sorry you fell for the scare tactics and you did not enjoy yourself while you were here, you missed out on allot... Come back soon Baby!

      August 28, 2010 at 06:11 | Report abuse |
  10. alexis

    I hate 2 hear sad stories like these.us kids having everything today makes us not think why if it happened to us.we don't know how other people feel and when schools are fund-raising even if you don't have alot of money what ever you have should make you fell. Good knowing you helped people out..

    August 28, 2010 at 03:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. cherri

    its hard for me to feel sorry tofeel sorry for the people of n.owhen they show those houses that were destroyed come onthey were shacks to begin with now they are getting housesten times better and still the people who lived off the government and taxpayers like me who probably never had a job are crying for more. also i wishthese famous people would stop asking us for money. i am anurse and feel my job is way more important than acting ina movie and i make pennies compared to them. hey why dont they each donate their entire pay from one movie instead of buying their third house on the riveria instead of begging us for our money. problem solved. okay people im ready let me have it

    August 28, 2010 at 04:07 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Reader

      I can't agree more. Oprah and Ellen are two that come to mind that are ALWAYS asking us to donate to their latest cause. 1/2 of your income is probably more than hundreds or even thousands collectively can afford to give.

      August 28, 2010 at 10:38 | Report abuse |
  12. Kate

    Since we're picking apart spelling, euthanised is a proper spelling, just not in America. I'm Canadian, and I spell it that way, even though both euthanised and euthanized are used here. Euthanised is mostly used in Commonwealth countries, and from the way the 'Dr' spelled pediatrician, I'd guess he's from one of them. This might also be why he was unaware that NOLA is an acronym for New Orleans, as someone else chided him for. Just pointing it out!

    August 28, 2010 at 06:47 | Report abuse | Reply
    • TammyB

      @ "Dr Perry Fisher"....You are a funny little man! I thank you for providing me with some good laughs during my short time at work (only 4 hours on a Saturday!) and being such good entertainment. Good luck in your endeavors...hopefully, someday, when you are old enough, you will become a real "doctor" and look back on this whole experience with fondness and maybe a little embarrassment for being such a dork. Don't worry....we ALL do dorkish things as young people! Have a great weekend, "doctor" (hahahahahahahahaha!!!!).....!

      August 28, 2010 at 16:59 | Report abuse |
    • Dr Perry Fisher

      Tammy ytou are stupid merely stupid

      September 19, 2010 at 22:04 | Report abuse |
  13. Nurse Tim

    As a nurse who care for his patients with my whole heart without regard to payment, I resent your implication that all doctors and nurses are business oriented. You can be as bitter as you would like about your choice of career and the changes that time has brought but be honest with yourself. There have always been weaker doctors (and nurses) and those that are only in it for the money, prestige, science, or whatever their own personal reason is. However, there are a great number of us who actually care.

    August 28, 2010 at 07:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Kathie

    I love NOLA, I'm white, female, middle class, a nurse etc.... I just returned from a wonderful trip to New Orleans. I walked the Quarter, listened to music on Bourbon Street, walked back to my beautiful hotel in the Quarter with two female friends at 11 at night. Shopped the French Market. Ate the most wonderful food and met the most wonderful people. I live in Chicago and one must be smart in any city. I have waited long hours in a fine community hospital for care and watched my own city lose the ability to provide care to all it's people. We have to not live in fear and lose sight of our humanity...God Bless New Orleans and her people!

    August 28, 2010 at 07:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Catherine

    My husband and I both trained at Charity Hospital in the 1990's. I was an Otolaryngology resident, he was an ER resident and a Toxicology fellow there. We left New York for the opportunity to work in New Orleans. We are both so grateful for the experiences we had at Charity, Hotel Dieu, Earl K.Long and UMC Lafayette, among other hospitals and clinics in LA. Our training was exceptional, our mentors and professors were patient and brilliant, and the people of New Orleans were and remain among the most grateful and courteous we have encountered to date.

    August 28, 2010 at 07:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. ap

    Well, Dr. Fisher, none of us got into medicine to be businessmen, but you're right. I wish i was a part of medicine during its 'glory years'. Now its exactly as you stated, billing, insurance, documenting everything under the sun out of fear of litigation, and an ever growing amount of forms, releases, consents, etc. Funny thing is, it really should be society that is up in arms over this 'transformation'. All that time is time that is diverted from actual face-to-face patient care. Being a physician is one of the worst jobs in the country, and no one seems to have any clue as to why. They think a six digit salary (right, and 6 digit student loans) makes everything ok. It doesn't.

    August 28, 2010 at 07:34 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Dr Perry Fisher

      Son, you are not a full grown doctor yet that will take at least ten years audited experience post specialty certification.Alas, you are right the glory years of medicine have gone.Our best minds are not going into medicine all thats left is the type of interlectually challanged people like those posting.By the way quite a few of us are still around and were trained properly and can still perform an accurate physical exam and perform an adequate history.We will not harm any patient in any form or fashion

      September 19, 2010 at 22:01 | Report abuse |
  17. Reader

    "In the hours and days after Katrina, CNN helped the world hear Charity Hospital's doctors' pleas for help for their patients." I DON'T THINK SO. Please don't give yourself ANY credit. The MSM was woefully absent in the critical hours and days following Katrina. I still partly blame the media for not picking up the story EARLY and then NOT telling the TRUTH about what was really going on. Only Cooper had it close to right- but it took about 3 or 4 days. The physicians were fighting for their lives and for the lives of their patients in the early aftermath – no help and no thanks to you and the rest of the watered down/politsized stuff we read that is call mainstream journalism. No-one should ever forget the true heroics of those physicians who decided to stay and look after the sick. I know that they never would have imagined what they would be dealing with. No-one has the right to judge the actions of anyone who lived through Katrina. Our govt, leaders of the biggest, baddest, most powerful country on earth – by its complete unpreparedness and non-chalance created the chaos and misery of that disaster.

    August 28, 2010 at 07:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Rob

    Didn't y'all see yesterday's piece with Michael Brown, he explained it all. These folks at Charity just didn't understand the "context" of all this. FEMA had all those needs assessments and paperwork to take care of. How could they have been expected to do anything for people like this on such short notice. FEMA staff had not yet even coordinated wardrobes for press conferences.

    August 28, 2010 at 07:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. ap

    you could care less about billing? Really? You won't keep a job, much less make partner, unless your numbers justify your existence. Are you a hospitalist on salary on something like that?

    I'm a brand new doc, one year out, and I would, unfortunately, agree with Dr. Fisher on much of what he is saying.

    August 28, 2010 at 07:41 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Dr Perry Fisher

      ap you might turn out to be a fair physician ,at least , you are informed and honest to the degree that you support truth

      September 19, 2010 at 21:51 | Report abuse |
  20. Anonymous


    August 28, 2010 at 07:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Thomas Zwemer

    Five Years and they are still planning? That is six birth cycles. That is 1825 days without open emergency rooms or surgury suites. It can't be all "Brownies" fault! They have played at least one Super Bowl in the Dome since. Priorities!!!! There needs to be a super bowl ring for those who put the infra-structure first. I bet they had a first rate traume center on alert during the Super Bowl.

    August 28, 2010 at 07:47 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Katherine

      For the record, there have been no super bowl games hosted in New Orleans since Katrina. The Saints played in Miami.
      The question should not be – why hasn't Charity been rebuilt? It should be – how much longer will it take to restabish healthcare facilities throughout the region? The spirit of Charity was its mission to provide top-notch care for the indigent. My friends who are in the medical profession can attest that to work or train at Charity was an educational experience unto itself. The same thing could be accomplished in ANY building. If the cost to rebuild is more than the cost of a new building, the "old Charity" should be torn down to make way for a new facility.

      August 28, 2010 at 11:49 | Report abuse |
    • Katherine

      Oh and by the way, there are several other hospitals and clinics that are fully operational in the greater New Orleans area. The report on CNN this week indicated that the 9th Ward "still" has no hospital. Guess what – it never did! Charity was the closest hospital and it is located downtown. There are a lot fewer "beds" in the city, but then again there are a lot fewer people to serve as well. The hospitals in surrounding suburbs are all up and running, with the exception of New Orleans East.

      August 28, 2010 at 11:55 | Report abuse |
    • Rigel54

      The delay in rebuilding or replacing Charity stems from (at least) two problems. There was, and is, heated debate about whether to rebuild/renovate the existing building or take the time and money to build a superior, more modern complex. Second, finding money to do either of those was a problem. It is only in the last several months that money was found to do so.

      August 29, 2010 at 01:01 | Report abuse |
    • Dr Perry Fisher

      they are not going to waste money on Charity Hospital......with Obama Care places like Charity are an unnecessary commodity

      September 19, 2010 at 21:48 | Report abuse |
  22. Charles

    Charity hospital is the future of health care for all of us if we leave it up to Republicans. Vote 'em out!

    August 28, 2010 at 08:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Melissa Sarat

    I am 58, and my paternal grandmother, a Barousse, took the bus back and forth from Lake Charles to New Orleans to have
    surgery and radiation for cancer when she was in her 50's. She went on to live into her 80's. Whatever history has to say
    about Huey Long, his hospital, Charity, saved my grandmother so that I could continue to enjoy her Cajun warmth and grandmotherly instruction for decades.

    August 28, 2010 at 08:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. mat

    I can understand those in the hospitals who could not be moved, but the rest had time to leave. Lets blame Bush for others stupidity. CNN should be ashamed, not patting themselves on the back.

    August 28, 2010 at 09:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Vise

    Very, very touching, but at the same time unbelievable. This should never, never, ever happen again. All those natural disasters will continue to happen, but we should have plan of action for every place where more than 10 people live together, people that depend on others (hospitals, nursing homes etc). Never again! God bless!

    August 28, 2010 at 09:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Jay

    May 2008, my husband and I vacationed in N.O., staying in the "warehouse" district. We were told and read all the horror stories about the city, where we should and should not visit. We had a rental car and traveled everywhere and enjoyed the various people and places we met along the way. Even the people in the 9th ward that we visited was friendly and not once did we feel our lives were in danger. We will return one day to visit for it was a wonderful, heartfelt week full of memories of all those lives lost and changed forever.

    August 28, 2010 at 09:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Reader

    CNN -You dare show "never before footage" 5 years after Katrina. WTF? If you had the will and courage to publically report the tragedy as it was unfolding in the hours and early days of the disaster, then the human tragedy would probably have been averted. I most certainly blame the MSM for negligence. Why didn't you report the truth?

    August 28, 2010 at 10:23 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Dr Perry Fisher

      you are confused

      September 19, 2010 at 21:42 | Report abuse |
  28. Confused

    I don't understand how $300 000 000 could be spent to rebuild the stadium yet money can't be found to do the same for a neccesity like a hospital.

    August 28, 2010 at 11:00 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Dr Perry Fisher

      Your name says it all you are confused...............isnt it obvious that the city fathers believe that rebuilding or opening that hospital is not necessarly in the public s interest or welfare

      September 19, 2010 at 21:41 | Report abuse |
  29. MedicSherrie

    WOW! I have never witnessed a subject go so far off track! It is not about: spelling, grammar, spaces, etc... It's about an icon! My mom worked in the Medical Directors office, where, as a child I visited her often. I was always amazed at the architectural beauty of that wonderful building. It was not aways dirty, though I am sure with the high patient volume, and foot traffic expierienced by Charity, any place would have trouble keeping pristine. Charity is (was) a wonderful place to learn. People were not judged there, and the Physicians were the best of the best! If you were not blessed to expierence Charity Hospital for yourself, when it was up & running, you can't really understand the warmth & love felt there. CHNO was much like NOLA, had a pulse & soul of it's own, like nowhere else. It breaks my heart to think they will shut her massive, welcoming doors for good. As for the bad behaviors of some of the people that failed (by their own choice, or not) to evacuate, every city has a few crazies, and some may have just cracked in the unbelievable devistation of it all, but most did their best to survive & help others. It was the most tramatic situation imaginable. You can NOT begin to understand if you sat comfortably in your air-conditioned living room, watching it on your television. Judge not lest ye be judged. I <3 NOLA & CHNO, forever.

    August 28, 2010 at 13:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Dr Perry Fisher

    your grammar is bad also but you dont recognise that maybe you went to LSU......

    August 28, 2010 at 13:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Ames Wolff

    If you are truly a physician then I condemn your grammar. How you are able to effectively communicate with your patients; or your peers?

    August 28, 2010 at 14:52 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Dr Perry Fisher

      Ames Wolff, you are merely a stupid Jew.Your grammar isnt good but more importantly you have nothing to say , except for lies.....just like the average Jew

      September 19, 2010 at 21:37 | Report abuse |
    • Dr Perry Fisher

      Ames Wolff, you are merely a stupid Jew.Maybe you have one of those genetic brain disorders that only Jews get

      September 19, 2010 at 21:38 | Report abuse |
  32. Not fooled

    @ yeah right--–Were you there? Can you even imagine the fear in those people? What state of mind do you think they were in?
    If you could see past your prejudice and see things as they might have happened you would not of made such childish comments.
    Stop seeing people as black and white, but as what we all are human.

    August 28, 2010 at 14:59 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Dr Perry Fisher

      I wonder what planet you live on..........................that is a sterotypical response from a bigot

      September 19, 2010 at 21:32 | Report abuse |
  33. Not fooled

    @ P. Fisher - Seems to me you are fishing around for fools to bite your bait-– A real doctor does not have time for such childish pranks. And by the slimmest chance you are I wouldn't let you touch me with a 50 ft. pole. You sound like one of the doctors you are describing! I believe the other posts and feel people should really look into saving this hospital. If it is structurely sound.

    August 28, 2010 at 18:14 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Dr Perry Fisher

      You are a fool and a bottom feeder probably the only thing you own is that delapidated computer you are typing on.At any rate ,you are not a person of significance as judged from the quality of your response.Iam sure that you dont have any money or insurance and that 50 foot distance you speak of is the distance most peoplke will stay from you because you are a stinker

      September 19, 2010 at 21:30 | Report abuse |
  34. Medic

    If you've a hospital with over 2600 beds...25 deaths each day is still less than one percent of all the inpatients. Add in the normal movement through the ED for a large downtown hospital, and that percentage still drops even more. The hospitals you name also will not close because they have large amounts of public and private funding, as well as research money and the ability to charge large amounts for completely optional treatments that aren't always covered fully by insurance companies, and if the patient is unable to cover the difference, they don't get that optional treatment.

    From what I've seen, Charity was devoted to the lower-income folks. So they didn't publish new research on a monthly basis, they were there to do one thing: cure their patients. Deliver babies. Ease pain and suffering. You know, that "first, do no harm" oath bit that every healthcare worker swears in some form or another.

    August 29, 2010 at 00:49 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Dr Perry Fisher

      What a non sequiter response.An analysis, as you have proposed, does not include unnecessary deaths those mis diagnosed,given inappropiate therapy and those treated as referred to in this article.Any hospital receiving 25+ in hospital deaths /day is a killing field.The questions proffered by this article is obvious.....how common was euthanasia in that particular hospital? The other hospitals I mentioned have long ago established and maintained a tradition for quality care and have never been associated with assisted deaths, moreover, each have been associated with the development of significant medical advances while Charity Hospital has no such history

      September 19, 2010 at 21:23 | Report abuse |
  35. Dr Perry Fisher

    Those posting here if they are in any profession at all are the type of people you would not want as a friend.If some are are in the medical field than these are the type that follow Hannibol Lector and Jack Kevorkian and demonstrates the low level of people in the allied medical fields in America today. Small wqonder that the insurance companies behave as they do its really to ptotect themselves from the idiots wearing a white uniform from ripping them off

    September 19, 2010 at 09:27 | Report abuse | Reply
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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.