Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital stayed open even though 51 of its doctors lost their homes. It stayed open even when twice as many patients as normal crowded into its emergency room, coughing and gasping. It stayed open and delivered 36 babies.
The 51 doctors who lost their homes showed up for work. So did 83 caregivers and five volunteers. When you work for a hospital, even one with 450 staff and affiliated physicians, that’s what you sign on for.
Cambria Reese, a 25-year-old nurse, was on the night shift. She looked up the affected areas on a staff computer. She found that the her parents’ address was on the list. They had just gotten back from a trip to Italy. Reese kept doing her job.
“There was a time of uncertainty, for sure,” Reese said. “It was chaotic at the hospital, and stressful not knowing. I cried a lot and kept working. A lot of people felt hopeless. I was focusing on work and someone else’s health to get through.”
Two hours passed before Reese got a phone call. Her parents were OK, but their home was lost.