Nash, Age 2, Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL), Hurricane Katrina survivor

Young hurricane survivor finds help and hope at Texas Children’s Hospital

Two-year-old Nash and his family have just emerged from the biggest adventure of their lives. Nash, who was born with Down syndrome, was undergoing treatment for a reoccurrence of leukemia at Tulane University Hospital when Hurricane Katrina blasted through New Orleans and completely devastated the city. Nash’s blood counts were too low for him to evacuate.

(2005) – After the electricity went out in New Orleans, the hospital’s generators kicked in and provided a brief respite but the power, food and water supply drained quickly. Nash and several other children needed to be moved elsewhere. Texas Children’s Hospital sent its Kangaroo Crew transport team to bring them to Houston.

Then, the day they were to leave, another crisis unfolded as snipers attacked rescue helicopters, which caused a delay of an extra day. Nash’s mother Robin worried he and the other children were losing precious time. “The snipers made me so angry,” she said. “We just needed to get the kids out of there.”

Early the next morning, the children were rescued from the hospital, but there wasn’t room for Robin to accompany her young son. “It ripped my heart out when they took him but I thought, ‘At least he’s out of here and can get the blood transfusions he needs and water and food,’” she said.

Robin and five other mothers made their way to Houston first by bus and then by car. After being separated from their children for nearly two days, the group of mothers arrived at Texas Children’s Hospital filled with hope that their children would be safe and receiving the care they needed.

“When I saw the hospital I felt like I was in Disneyland,” said Robin. “It was amazing. I remember being so excited that he would actually be here and I could see him again.”

With his mother now by his side, Nash is continuing his treatments at Texas Children’s. His blood counts are elevated to the point where he no longer needs transfusions. His doctors are in the process of running tests to determine if Nash will have to undergo a bone marrow transplant.

“I believe in my heart that all this happened to us to get Nash here for the best medical care,” said Robin. “Everyone, from the doctors to the nurses to the patient care assistants, has been so caring and so helpful to us.”