labor day weekend for michael ross and shirley clifton is something neither is likely to forget anytime soon.
ross and clifton, both registered nurses at midland memorial hospital, were among 10 who traveled to baton rouge, la., sept. 5-9 to help hurricane katrina victims.
the group broke up into two teams -- one went to the shut-down belmont hotel and the other to the pete maravich assembly center.
clifton tended to first-responders who had been working since before the storm. those at the belmont were able to get medical care, counseling, food, immunizations and transportation to see their families after they got in contact with them.
she and fellow providers saw 650 police, firefighters and dispatchers in two days. many of the fire and policemen came with just the clothes on their backs.
"it was just an honorable group of people," clifton said.
ross, who worked nights, was at the main staging area where patients were coming in by the busload from new orleans. he helped triage them, fill prescriptions, provide wound care or admit them to the fieldhouse/hospital set up on the pmac grounds. he estimates he treated at least 200 people.
"patients we saw ranged from minor lacerations or prescription refills to more chronic conditions exacerbated because people were without medicine or dialysis," said ross, a house supervisor at mmh.
clifton said she visited the american nurses association web site and got the contact number for louisiana disaster management. ross made the initial contact, and while they were there, they stayed in the sanctuary of a church at louisiana state university.
full story: katrina provides lasting memories for mmh nurses