Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Another Student's Story Re: Katrina

I just read this from my Theo 1120 blog, and I found this student's loss to be very sad and poignant.
Sometimes I think my hurricane story is very hard to describe in words. Prior to hurricane Katrina, I lived in New Orleans East, but the house I was staying in received six feet of water. I not only lost most of my personal belongings and electronic equipment that I owned, but I also lost my grandmother. My dad and my 91 year old grandmother decided to stay behind when Katrina struck. This was one of the dumbest things my dad ever did.
Granny lived in the sixth ward, just blocks from Claiborne Avenue. Her home had no water. They did have water in the streets, so there was no place they could go when the levees broke. Soon, her gas and electricity was turned off. It is really hard for a 91 year old woman to survive in a house with only canned food items when she is accustomed to getting her bread, butter and soup at a certain time everyday.
Soon, my father decided to go and get my brothers boat on Gentilly Blvd. Then he decided to ask the neighbor to help him push my grandmother to the Convention Center. This decision was ever worst that staying in the house, since people were just waiting there to get help that never came. She and my dad waited almost three days with very little food and water. The whole situation became even worst when my grandmother fell and hit her head while my dad was getting food for her. Soon, my dad began telling the National Guards that they had to do something for his mother. They did something for her by evacuating her by helicopter to the Triage Center at the New Orleans International Airport.
My dad remained with his mom at the airport, but soon they became separated when she was taken to the triage area for medical test. When he last saw her, she was alert. Next, he was told to wait in a designated area for 30 minutes where she would be returned after the tests was completed. 30 minutes turned into two hours, and my grandmother never came out. Finally, my father was told that FEMA probably flew her by plane to a hospital or senior-care facility. They put him on a plane to Corpus Christi, Texas and told him that Fema would contact him in two days with information on the specific where a bouts of his mother. Two days became two weeks and soon months passed. After searching for her nearly three long months, my dad filed a lawsuit against FEMA. Not long after that, a lady from St. Gabriel’s morgue called and said my grandmother was dead.
She was dead almost three months earlier, the same day my father was separated from her at the triage center. This hurt me a lot because I wish I could have spent more time with her, but she is gone now. My grandfather died about two years ago and my grandmother always wanted to be with him. They were married over 50 years. I know my grandmother is in a better place with her husband. I only wish I could have told her how much I love her before she left this world, but it is too late now.

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