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Remembering Joplin: Healthcare workers recount harrowing night of 2011 tornado | News – Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City, Missouri 2021-05-20 23:45:00 –

Joplin, Missouri (KCTV)-Ten years after the EF5 tornado struck St. John’s Hospital at the time, doctors and nurses working that night still remember what happened when the storm struck.

Ashley Miller, a nurse at the time, worked on the seventh floor of the building. She grew up near Joplin. She said the storm always looked like part of the summer.

“When the sky began to darken, I thought,’Oh, that’s just another day in the Midwest,'” she recalled.

But in the end, tornado sirens began to pass through the city. The glass windows began to shatter. Miller and the others who care for their patients have no choice but to hide.

Kevin Kepley, who worked with Miller on the 7th floor, remembered stuffing him in the closet with some colleagues and patients.

“In the end, we ended up with eight people in a 2×2 room,” Kepley said.

“Even in that little closet, we were hit by glass, fiberglass and drywall,” Miller recalled.

The tornado destroyed the hospital, leaving debris and danger everywhere. It takes hours to safely discharge a patient.

“There was glass and fiberglass everywhere,” Miller said. “These people weren’t wearing shoes. We were finding towels and wrapping towels.”

Soon, help arrived in the form of Joplin citizens driving their trucks and cars, ready to move patients to Joplin’s other hospital, Freeman.

Paula Baker, CEO of Freeman, said the hospital had performed more than 20 life-saving surgeries that night. They undertook several patients who were stabbed, cut or crushed under the wreckage.

“It was very intense for a few days,” Baker said.

The death toll from the tornado has reached 150.

But the story of Joplin isn’t just about the darkness of the storm.

Miller also remembers the light that followed.

By the end of the year, more than 80,000 volunteers had participated to support the city. Ten years later, many businesses in the town were rebuilt.

“The tornado destroyed a lot, but it brought good things to much of the community,” Miller said.

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Remembering Joplin: Healthcare workers recount harrowing night of 2011 tornado | News Source link Remembering Joplin: Healthcare workers recount harrowing night of 2011 tornado | News

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