Monday, September 09, 2013

Review: "Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital" by Sheri Fink

Date Read - September 9th, 2013
Date Published - September 10th, 2013 - Crown
Source - NetGalley

Like most Americans, I would never forget the haunting images of the destruction of Hurricane Katrina, especially in New Orleans. Houses flooded, people waiting for rescue on rooftops, and worst of all, the dead being cast aside on a sidewalks. It's one thing to imagine, but it's a different story when you have lived through it.
This was the reality of the countless doctors, nurses, and patients trapped inside Memorial Medical Center. When the water rose, the generators failed, and the chaos ensued, some patients were prioritized and managed to evacuate. Others weren't so fortunate. It was within the dire situation that some of the doctors and nurses chose to do the unthinkable. Although the storm ended, the even bigger storm was to come of the doctors and nurses, accused of enthusing some of the patients. 
The book reads like a novel, keeping the reader on the edge. For me, I couldn't put my kindle down as I raced to see what would happen. One of things I found amazing was how you could feel for each of the doctors and nurses marooned during Katrina. But at the same time, rage against them on their decision to play God. Sheri Link doesn't seem to pick sides and instead offers her six year research and relentless pursuit of the truth of what really happened during those five days.
In short, "Five Days at Memorial" is a must read for anyone who wants a glimpse of the horror of Katrina. It will make you questions  your own beliefs and even after the last page is turned, the one question will linger: What would you do?

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