home
RSS
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. RV Repair Garden Grove

    I wanted to thank you for this excellent read!! I definitely enjoyed every little bit of it. I have you book marked to look at new things you postÖ

    https://click.alamode.com/?adcode=CPEMAQM0913_1&url=http://my-mallorca-property.com/forum/viewtopic.php?lang=de&p=167033

    June 15, 2021 at 21:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. RV Repairs Near Me

    I really like it when individuals come together and share opinions. Great site, continue the good work!

    https://irc.lc/https://www.ocrvcenter.com/motorhome-interior-remodel-near-me/bbs-arab

    June 16, 2021 at 01:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Camper Repairs Near Me

    https://gbcode2.kgieworld.com/gb/https://ocrvcenter.com/commercial-vehicle-collision-repair-shop-near-me/hot/

    June 16, 2021 at 01:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Nearest RV Repair

    Aw, this was a really nice post. Taking a few minutes and actual effort to produce a very good articleÖ but what can I sayÖ I put things off a lot and never seem to get nearly anything done.

    https://shop.hahanoshizuku.jp/shop/display_cart?return_url=http://ocrvcenter.com/motorhome-collision-repair-shop-near-me

    June 16, 2021 at 01:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. เป็นการใช้ผ้าผูกข้อมือ

    Hey There. I discovered your weblog the usage of msn.
    That is a really neatly written article. I will make sure to bookmark it and return to learn more of your
    helpful information. Thank you for the post.
    I will certainly return.

    June 16, 2021 at 03:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Sprinter Repair Costa Mesa

    https://www.barrypopik.com/index.php?URL=ocrvcenter.com/rv-repair-shop-seal-beach-california

    June 16, 2021 at 04:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Camper Repair Places Near Me

    https://www.export.org.au/Redirect.aspx?destination=https://www.ocrvcenter.com/rv-repair-shop-eastvale-california

    June 16, 2021 at 06:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. RV Repair Near Me

    Aw, this was an exceptionally good post. Taking the time and actual effort to make a really good articleÖ but what can I sayÖ I procrastinate a lot and never seem to get anything done.

    http://cia.org.ar/BAK/bannerTarget.php?url=https://www.ocrvcenter.com/camper-collision-repair-shop-near-me/

    June 16, 2021 at 08:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. covid-19 testing near me

    A fascinating discussion is definitely worth comment. I do think that you need to write more about this topic, it might not be a taboo subject but usually people don't speak about such topics. To the next! All the best!!

    http://ichikawa.genki365.net/gnki02/common/redirect.php?url=http://ocrvcenter.com/

    June 16, 2021 at 14:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. massage near me

    http://wkz.topcomic.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=http://ocrvcenter.com

    June 16, 2021 at 15:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. nordstrom rack near me

    Way cool! Some extremely valid points! I appreciate you penning this write-up plus the rest of the site is also really good.

    https://callineurope.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=https://ocrvcenter.com

    June 16, 2021 at 18:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. gym near me

    https://www.f86sabre.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=http://ocrvcenter.com

    June 16, 2021 at 19:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. food delivery near me

    http://www.projectgregory.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=https://ocrvcenter.com

    June 16, 2021 at 20:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Nearby RV Repairs

    https://yellowpages.uticaod.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=https://www.ocrvcenter.com/industrial-truck-collision-repair-shop-near-me

    June 16, 2021 at 22:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. RV Repair Shop Near Me

    I was pretty pleased to uncover this site. I want to to thank you for your time for this particularly wonderful read!! I definitely enjoyed every part of it and i also have you saved as a favorite to look at new things in your website.

    http://www.barrypopik.com/index.php?URL=http://ocrvcenter.com/rv-repair-shop-jurupa-valley-california/

    June 17, 2021 at 00:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. RV Repair Garden Grove

    Good post. I learn something totally new and challenging on websites I stumbleupon on a daily basis. It will always be interesting to read content from other writers and practice a little something from their websites.

    http://bad.org.uk/for-the-public/patient-information-leaflets/androgenetic-alopecia/?showmore=1&returnlink=http://www.ocrvcenter.com/rv-repair-shop-orange-california/

    June 17, 2021 at 02:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. RV Repair Shops Nearby

    http://www.philanthropy.org.au/?URL=http://ocrvcenter.com/rv-repair-shop-newport-beach-california/

    June 17, 2021 at 03:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. RV Repair Nearby

    Hi, I do believe this is a great website. I stumbledupon it 😉 I'm going to revisit once again since I book marked it. Money and freedom is the greatest way to change, may you be rich and continue to guide other people.

    https://ww17.instagurum.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=ocrvcenter.com/rv-repair-shop-sierra-madre-california/

    June 17, 2021 at 04:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. RV Repair Around Me

    I like reading an article that can make people think. Also, thank you for allowing for me to comment!

    https://vladinfo.ru/away.php?url=http://ocrvcenter.com/rv-renovation-near-me/

    June 17, 2021 at 06:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. electronic stores near me

    Good day! I could have sworn Iíve been to this site before but after going through many of the posts I realized itís new to me. Anyways, Iím certainly delighted I came across it and Iíll be book-marking it and checking back regularly!

    https://www.clubteam.backcreekcafe.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=https://ocrvcenter.com/

    June 17, 2021 at 07:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. RV Repair Garden Grove

    I must thank you for the efforts you have put in penning this website. I'm hoping to view the same high-grade blog posts from you later on as well. In truth, your creative writing abilities has inspired me to get my very own blog now 😉

    http://response-o-matic.com/thank_you.php?u=https://ocrvcenter.com/rv-repair-shop-coachella-california/

    June 17, 2021 at 10:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. harris teeter near me

    Itís hard to find knowledgeable people about this subject, however, you sound like you know what youíre talking about! Thanks

    http://opelforum.ru/redirect/?url=https://ocrvcenter.com

    June 17, 2021 at 11:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. chase atm near me

    I really like reading a post that will make men and women think. Also, thank you for permitting me to comment!

    http://e-pood24.orientpointexpress.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=www.ocrvcenter.com/

    June 17, 2021 at 12:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. marijuana dispensary near me

    http://midoc.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=quotenearme.com

    June 17, 2021 at 14:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. bank of america atm near me

    Saved as a favorite, I like your blog!

    http://ts.videosz.com/out.php?cid=101&aid=102&nis=0&srid=392&url=http://bestlocalnearme.com

    June 17, 2021 at 15:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. walk in clinic near me

    Very good post! We will be linking to this great content on our site. Keep up the good writing.

    http://safeurl.co.uk/redirect.aspx?url=https://bestservicenearme.com/

    June 17, 2021 at 17:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. gun range near me

    You should take part in a contest for one of the finest websites on the internet. I most certainly will highly recommend this site!

    http://alkrsan.net/forum/go.php?url=//www.nearmyspot.com

    June 17, 2021 at 19:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. metro pcs near me

    https://www.l-www.sitepal.com/affiliates/entry/?spdirect=1&affId=75895&promotionId=17691&link=https://www.wholesalenearme.com

    June 17, 2021 at 21:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. vape shops near me

    This website definitely has all of the information and facts I needed about this subject and didnít know who to ask.

    https://www.procolleges.com/college_search/go.php?url=https://bestlocalnearme.com/

    June 17, 2021 at 22:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. wedding venues near me

    http://wood-harbinger.biz/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=www.bestservicenearme.com

    June 18, 2021 at 05:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. motel 6 near me

    http://textilehelpline.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=nearmyspot.com/

    June 18, 2021 at 08:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. salads near me

    http://ww31.suchisoft.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=bulknearme.com/

    June 18, 2021 at 09:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. domino's near me

    Great web site you've got here.. Itís hard to find high-quality writing like yours these days. I really appreciate people like you! Take care!!

    http://i1q.e-aacpmas.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=www.reviewnearme.com/

    June 18, 2021 at 10:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. new construction

    http://claytonf58k7.fitnell.com/41188567/rumored-buzz-on-sprinter-truck-repair

    June 18, 2021 at 15:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. RV Repair Shop Near Me

    An impressive share! I have just forwarded this onto a co-worker who had been doing a little research on this. And he in fact bought me dinner due to the fact that I stumbled upon it for him... lol. So let me reword this.... Thank YOU for the meal!! But yeah, thanks for spending time to talk about this subject here on your site.

    https://www.go.xscript.ir/index.php?url=ocrvcenter.com/rv-repair-shop-inglewood-california/

    June 18, 2021 at 15:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. queenslot pgslot

    you're truly a just right webmaster. The web site loading speed is incredible.
    It seems that you are doing any distinctive trick.

    Furthermore, The contents are masterpiece. you have done
    a excellent task in this matter!

    June 18, 2021 at 16:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Nearby RV Repair

    https://treasury.gov/cgi-bin/redirect.cgi/?www.tinyurl.com/rnaftuy/

    June 18, 2021 at 17:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. RV Repair Near Me

    http://localbusiness.nwfdailynews.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=ocrvart.com/rv-repair-shop-orange-county-california

    June 18, 2021 at 21:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. RV Repair Orange County

    https://wapp.baidu.com/mo/q/checkurl?url=https://ocrv.guru/rv-repair-shop-diamond-bar-california/

    June 18, 2021 at 23:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. RV Repair Orange County California

    http://web.hcps.ptc.edu.tw/dyna/webs/gotourl.php?url=http://www.ocrvcenter.com/rv-repair-shop-murrieta-california/

    June 19, 2021 at 01:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Nearby RV Repair

    Spot on with this write-up, I absolutely believe this site needs far more attention. Iíll probably be back again to see more, thanks for the advice!

    https://southampton.ac.uk/~drn1e09/foaf/visualizer.php?url=www.ocrvcenter.info/rv-repair-shop-north-hollywood-california

    June 19, 2021 at 02:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. RV Repair Mission Viejo

    This is a good tip especially to those fresh to the blogosphere. Brief but very accurate infoÖ Appreciate your sharing this one. A must read post!

    https://www.sv.paltalk.com/client/webapp/client/External.wmt?url=ocrvcenter.net/allstate-rv-collision-repair-paint-shop-near-me-orange-county

    June 19, 2021 at 08:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. Sprinter Repair Near Me

    Greetings! Very helpful advice in this particular article! It is the little changes that make the most important changes. Thanks for sharing!

    https://dauntless-soft.com/products/android/beforeyougo.asp?U=http://ocrvcenter.com/motorhome-generator-repair-near-me/

    June 19, 2021 at 11:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. RV Repairs Near Me

    http://freedback.com/thank_you.php?u=www.ocrvcenter.mobi/rv-repair-shop-walnut-california

    June 19, 2021 at 12:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. RV Repair Shops Nearby

    https://www.asm.com/Pages/Press-releases/ASMI-ANNOUNCES-AVAILABILITY-AND-TIMING-OF-THE-FIRST-QUARTER-2018-CONFERENCE-CALL-AND-WEBCAST.aspx?overview=https://www.ocrvcenter.com/motorhome-kitchen-repair-near-me

    June 19, 2021 at 12:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. 선릉안마

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I truly appreciate your efforts
    and I will be waiting for your further post thanks once again.

    June 19, 2021 at 14:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. RV Repair Orange County California

    Can I simply say what a relief to uncover somebody that genuinely understands what they are discussing over the internet. You actually know how to bring a problem to light and make it important. More and more people must read this and understand this side of your story. I can't believe you are not more popular because you definitely have the gift.

    https://biz.timesfreepress.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=www.ocrvcenter.com/

    June 19, 2021 at 15:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. Camper Repair Shop Near Me

    Right here is the perfect blog for anyone who would like to find out about this topic. You realize so much its almost tough to argue with you (not that I really would want toÖHaHa). You certainly put a new spin on a subject which has been written about for ages. Wonderful stuff, just great!

    https://www.freedback.com/thank_you.php?u=http://www.ocrv.rocks/rv-repair-shop-eastvale-california/

    June 19, 2021 at 16:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. RV Repair Orange County

    http://icewarp.cz/ru/downloads/redir/?link=www.ocrvcenter.com/rv-repair-shop-calabasas-california

    June 19, 2021 at 20:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. RV Repairs Near Me

    Itís hard to come by well-informed people for this subject, but you sound like you know what youíre talking about! Thanks

    https://www.triathlon.org/?URL=https://www.ocrv.rocks/rv-repair-shop-yorba-linda-california

    June 19, 2021 at 21:34 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17

Leave a Reply to salads near me


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

Advertisement
About this blog

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.