With more than a foot of rain falling outside and hurricane-force winds blowing on the hospital windows, Irma Rodriguez had all the problems that other residents of Corpus Christi, Texas, had on Friday night, plus two more:
She hadn’t chosen a name for her baby.
And it was growing clear he was not going to let something as trivial as a hurricane delay his grand entrance.
So after Rodriguez delivered a healthy baby boy as the winds of the hurricane shrieked outside, a nurse suggested a name that seemed just right:
“It was exciting delivering my baby during the hurricane,” Rodriguez said of the seven-pound, 18-inch-long newest addition to her family, according to a statement released by Corpus Christi Medical Center-Doctors Regional. “We are thankful for the care we received … and for the good health of our family.”
As Harvey the baby made his debut, Harvey the hurricane had left more than 200,000 homes in the city without power, according to the Corpus Christi Caller-Times. Roads were flooded. Emergency services were delayed. A courthouse and a public school were damaged.
But officials at Doctors Regional knew they had to stay open.
On Thursday, HCA Healthcare, the system Doctors Regional is part of, announced it would be closing other hospitals across Corpus Christi and in nearby Portland during the storm.
Leaders at Doctors Regional prepared to ride out the hurricane, said Kimberly Megow, the chief medical officer. They set up a command post, fueled backup generators and brought in enough food and supplies for patients and staff.
Rodriguez showed up at the emergency room on Friday as the hurricane loomed, asking for care, Megow said.
As the hurricane neared, power to the surrounding area went out, Megow said. But the backup generators kicked in instantly.
Harvey made landfall late Aug. 25, 30 miles northeast of Corpus Christi, according to the National Weather Service. Around the same time, Harvey was born.
According to the hospital system, two other babies were delivered by Caesarean section at nearby Christus Spohn Hospital South as Harvey made landfall, according to the Corpus Christi Caller-Times. Another baby was delivered at home under the care of medical personnel.
Neither of those children was named after the hurricane.
“We were really well prepared,” Megow said. “Hospitals really are the place of last resort for any patients in the community. We’re a safety net. We always have to be ready. We can’t close.”
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