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Inspiring stories from Hurricane Katrina!

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I know there have been a lot of devastation, loss of lives, horror witnessed by many many people in these areas BUT there HAVE been inspiring stories that offers hope and HAPPY ENDINGS.

I would like to challenge you guys to add to this of any stories you've heard directly from news, online articles, etc. Hopefully this will help us feel more positive and proactive toward helping these people and animals devastated by Hurricane Katrina.

I would like to share 2 stories- 1st story-
I just watched a TOUCHING news story that got me BAWLING like a baby.
A pregnant lady plunged into chest high water in New Orleans to seek help for her 5 yr old son who has asthma (didn't say when this happened). She promised him she'd be back soon. However she went into labor in the water and luckily a US Coast Guard helicopter saw and rescued her. They took her to a Baton Rouge hospital where she gave birth to a beautiful boy a couple days ago. However, it was bittersweet for her cuz she was so worried about her 5 yr old son who she left alone-she wasn't sure if he WAS rescued, if he was taken somewhere else, etc. A hospital worker heard and somehow found her son and the other day as she was being discharged from the hospital, a hospital worker told her they had a surprise for her then opened a door. She saw her son standing there and just LOST it. She just grabbed him, squeezed him, gave him kisses all over while cryin "OH MY BABY!! MY BABY!!" I could tell that little boy was overwhelmed and was trying to breathe as his mom hugged him.. (Had to laugh at that one through my tears!)
That hospital worker arranged a place for that mother and kids with her church in Baton Rouge (with a nursery included!) so that family is taken care of at this time!

Second story-http://www.hsus.org/hsus_field/hsus_...with_them.html
Refusing to Leave Them Behind, Evacuees Smuggled Their Pets Out With Them
By Carrie Allan

Sunday, September 4

Dohnn Moret Williams isn’t going back to New Orleans. There’s nothing for him there now, he says. His former home is underwater, and he assumes all his possessions are ruined or stolen. His elderly father lived nearby, and while Moret Williams is hoping for the best, he’s assuming the worst. “We think he’s dead,†he says. His voice is tired and dreadfully blank.

With all that’s happened to him in the past week—the loss of home, friends, and probably family; the frightening journey out of the city and into the chaotic environs of the Houston Astrodome, his temporary new home—it might seem strange that today Moret Williams was crying out of relief and happiness. “I spent most of the morning crying when I knew I could come get him,†he says, gazing down at the dog at his feet.

He’s just reclaimed Sebastian, a large black cocker spaniel with red markings above his brown eyes, from his temporary shelter at the Houston SPCA. “Sebastian Moret,†Moret Williams specifies, emphasizing the dog’s second name, the one that defines the animal as part of his family. “I got no children. This here’s my baby.â€

Black Bag Operation

Moret Williams and Sebastian left New Orleans together. Sebastian floated on an air mattress at his owner’s side as Moret Williams waded through polluted, neck-deep floodwater, pulling the mattress along with him. Man and beast managed to reach an elevated portion of Interstate 10, but the helicopters that were taking evacuees to buses weren’t allowing pets on board.

“There was no way I was leaving without him,†Moret Williams says, and so he did what so many have had to do in the past week: He improvised. He put Sebastian in a large black trash bag and begged him not to make noise.

Amazingly, the dog obeyed, though he did squirm at one point—a point that could have ruined the whole plan. “He bumped against the pilot,†Moret Williams says, a small smile creeping onto his face. “The pilot just goes, ‘I didn’t see nothing.’ â€

The pet owner’s black bag operation was secret enough to get the pair a one-way ticket to Houston on a bus that also didn’t accept animals. Sebastian made the whole trip with his nose sticking out the top of the bag. And when they arrived at the Astrodome on Friday, the staff of the Houston SPCA were waiting, ready to offer shelter to Sebastian while Moret Williams became one more evacuee looking to scratch out a new life. Today, he has plans to stay with his sister—and thanks to the SPCA, he has his baby back.

Lola's Story

Moret Williams is not alone in the extraordinary measures he took to keep his beloved pet safe. The Houston SPCA is full of pets of evacuees, and Jim Boller, director of shelter and field services for the organization, estimates that only half a dozen out of hundreds actually came "legally," meaning properly leashed or in crates. While a few of the bus drivers relented on the “no pets†rule—the adult great Dane being held at the shelter “probably drove the bus,†HSPCA volunteer Steve Rundell jokes—the majority of the animals who’ve arrived with the victims were stowaways, brought out of the city by hook or by crook by owners unwilling to leave them behind. The two ferrets arrived in the oversized pockets of a young girl. A parakeet was concealed in a makeup case. Chihuahuas and kittens came in women’s purses.

Then there was Lola. Earlier this week, Boller was helping with pet intake at the Astrodome in the middle of the night when the lovebird arrived. The young woman who brought the bird obviously hadn’t slept for days, and she mentioned having come from the Superdome. All she and her little boy had with them was a small plastic bag of personal items, and Lola—although the bird was not immediately apparent to Boller’s eyes. The woman told him, “I’ve got something for you,†and then pressed her breasts together slightly and rolled her shoulders in a way that might have seemed suggestive in another context. Lola the lovebird popped up out of her cleavage, having spent most of the bus trip tucked inside her owner’s bra.

All They Have Left

In spite of the dire straits many of the evacuees face, the SPCA has already helped 30 animals at the shelter reunite with their families. The reunited pets aren’t just dogs and cats and parakeets: One of the reclaimed animals was a chicken who’d been raised “from a peep†by the man who came to take her home. “This chicken obviously knew the guy,†Boller says. He notes that many of the folks coming off the buses at the Astrodome were reluctant to let the SPCA take the animals in. “These animals are all that some of these people have left,†Boller says.

For a week now, the papers have been filled with stories of human suffering. In the face of such an enormous crisis, it’s easy to understand why many people choose to focus on the human side of this tragedy. Thousands of people are suddenly homeless and unemployed. Thousands have lost loved ones. Whole towns have been wiped off the map, and rebuilding will take years in the areas where it’s even possible. The needs for shelter and support are growing by the day, and the death toll in Louisiana and Mississippi is likely to rise by hundreds.

But Dohnn Moret Williams and his dog Sebastian, Lola the bosom-smuggled lovebird, and the hundreds of other animals carried out of New Orleans are a reminder of how much people love their pets, the extraordinary measures they will take to protect them, and what a great comfort animals can provide in the face of trauma. Animals are victims of this disaster as well, and disaster relief personnel heading into Louisiana and Mississippi to rescue the animals left behind are not just helping animals. They’re helping people, many of whom suddenly have nothing, to go on with their lives with a friend at their side.

I found those inspiring and gives me HOPE... PLEASE share INSPIRING stories or stories with happy endings you've seen/heard regarding Hurricane Katrina here...
post #2 of 6
Those stories are so wonderful and touching . Thank you for sharing Pam
post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by ugaimes
Those stories are so wonderful and touching . Thank you for sharing Pam
Glad to hear that these stories touched you. Have you heard any stories/events that's inspiring regarding Hurricane Katrina that you'd like to share?
post #4 of 6
Although these aren't from a newspaper, they are true.

My co-worker knows a lady who has family in Biloxi, MS. Well, as she said, there's nothing that's going to stop a mother from going to get her children! So she and her friends arranged for the lady to borrow a large conversion van from one of them, they took the van to Sam's Club and loaded it up to the brim with food and water, some of them gave her money for gas to get there, and sent her on her way.

Another story I heard on the radio this morning. A couple, their small child and four 100 lb. dogs made their way to Colorado with nothing but the clothes on their back because the woman's mother had lived here. Somehow, the radio station found out about their plight, and told their story. Within an hour, a couple called in saying that they have a bunk house at their horse boarding facility that would be perfect for them and their dogs. They offered it for as long as they needed to get on their feet, and "anything else you need."
post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 
Valanhb- THANK u for sharing that!!! That's what I'm looking for.

Here's another inspiring story.

Baby kept kin from giving up
By Dan Reed, USA TODAY
FORT WORTH — Cyntrel Clay says she and nine family members, including three elderly and invalid women, fought their way out of hell in New Orleans because of "a little Heaven."
Clay could have left the city Aug. 28, before Hurricane Katrina arrived, with her daughter Nevaeh, who was 6 weeks old. But she chose to ride out the storm with her great-grandmother, 96, grandmother, 77, and her disabled mother.

"They really couldn't go anywhere," Clay says. "My gut feeling was that it wouldn't be right just to leave them when they couldn't take care of themselves. They kept telling me to go and get Nevaeh out of there, but God was telling me to stay."

It turned out that Nevaeh, whose name is Heaven spelled backward, saved her relatives by giving them a reason to live, says Clay, 23, a New Orleans native. She and her daughter were evacuated on Saturday to Fort Worth, where the baby is recovering from severe dehydration, a serious infection and other problems related to the family's harrowing weeklong fight for survival.

Like others who weathered the hurricane, Clay's family survived the storm as it passed by New Orleans on Monday. But when Clay woke up Tuesday, floodwater was lapping at the steps of her two-story duplex. By afternoon, water covered the air conditioner in the window of her first-floor living room.

Clay, her elderly relatives and some other family members gathered upstairs in her house. Rescuers were unable to reach them through a tangle of tree limbs and power lines surrounding the house. By Wednesday, their supply of water ran low, and their spirits fell even lower. Clay's grandmother and great-grandmother stopped eating.

But Clay says they didn't give up largely because of Nevaeh. Keeping the baby alive and getting her to safety became the family's focus. The old women took turns caring for the baby.

On Thursday, Clay's uncle located a small boat. The family began what became a 14-hour odyssey through New Orleans' flooded streets. Along the way, they rescued a deacon who had taken refuge at the family's church. They saw a man jump from his roof in a bid to escape, only to hit his head and die in front of them. Multiple bodies floated past, Clay says.

They reached the Superdome, where thousands of other victims had gathered around 10:30 Thursday night.

On Saturday, Clay had a choice: wait for buses to take the entire family out or board a police van that would take her and a very weak Nevaeh to Naval Air Station New Orleans and on to Fort Worth.

"They told me that if I got on the bus with the rest of my family, Nevaeh might not make it," Clay says. She says family members urged her to go, telling her, "We didn't come this far to see that baby die now."

Doctors in Fort Worth expect Nevaeh to recover fully. Monday, Clay learned that the rest of her family had been evacuated to Little Rock. Arrangements to reunite here in Fort Worth were being made. "I know they made it out of the flood because of my little girl," she says. "We all did."
post #6 of 6
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