As Hurricane Laura ravaged Louisiana and parts of Texas at 2am on Thursday morning, leaving 14 dead so far, a group of brave nurses opted to battle through the storm to care for sick babies in hospital.
Staff at the neonatal intensive care unit at Lake Charles Hospital in Louisiana stayed put as the Category 4 storm swept past.
The team had a total of 19 babies in their care, many of whom were born prematurely.
Residents of Lake Charles knew the hurricane was headed with a vengeance towards their city, and a mandatory evacuation order was in place.
But the bubs couldn’t be evacuated in time because they needed medical machinery to keep them breathing.
So one doctor, 14 nurses, two neonatal nurse practitioners and three respiratory therapists from the small town braced themselves for a night of hell.
Some of the babies were on respirators and ventilators, weighing as little as 450 grams. Some of them had been born premature at just 23 weeks.
Despite the “scary” conditions, which saw the air conditioning fail and the water cut out, everyone pulled through.
“It’s important to know the dedication of all the nurses and the respiratory therapists to keep taking care of the babies when they don’t even know the condition of their homes,” Dr Juan Bossano, the doctor who stayed behind, told CNN.
“In a small town like this, people have to pull together. I’m proud of them.”
During rough night, Dr Bossano posted an update about the babies on his Facebook page for their worried parents.
The babies were doing “better than all of us,” he wrote.
To survive the night, the hospital broke staff up onto two teams to form two separate shifts, with one group looking after the babies while the others got some sleep.
A post on Christus Health, a hospital in Southeast Texas, shared photos of some of the “heroes” who embarked on a mission to the hard-hit area to help the young patients in the hospital’s NICU.
More than 600,000 homes and businesses have been left without power in Louisiana, Texas and Arkansas as a result of damage caused by the Category 4 storm.
Lake Charles was battered worst by the storm, with wind travelling at 190-217km per hour during some points of the night, according to the National Weather Service.
As a result, Louisiana’s Governor, John Bel Edwards, has begged President Donald Trump for a major disaster declaration to be bestowed upon the state.