March 11, 2007
Reported By: Lee Peck
Proof that progress has made its way back to lower Cameron parish can be seen at the site of the new South Cameron Memorial Hospital, which was leveled by Hurricane Rita. By the truck loads, the new facility started arriving in modular units in early January.
"We was all excited when we saw the parts coming in. We was waiting and they finally came in. I took about a week because they would bring them in 5 go 6 units at a time," said Edith Miller.
Miller lives next door to the hospital, and has watched the 18.7 million dollar facility built from the ground up. "They just started putting them together, and it went up fast, now they're now working inside," said Miller.
"When it started coming up, it came up real quick. I mean bam, bam -- real quick," said lower Cameron resident Donald Richard.
Funded by a ten-year 20 mills property tax, the new 25-bed hospital will have 24 hour emergency room, lab and x-ray services for lower Cameron parish... it's something they have been living without.
"We can't wait for it to reopen. We are going to have an emergency room, eventually we're going to have a pharmacy, so that's going to be nice," said lower Cameron resident Angie Nunez.
Miller says it will be nice to not have to drive an hour to see a doctor. She hopes once the hospital is complete, other elderly residents will want to return home. "A lot of people are holding back on that, because there's no health service here, which is bad because mostly all down in this region is old people," explained Miller. "If we could get healthcare here it would be a blessing."
A blessing this small community is depending on to help them fully recover. "It will be like old times. In case somebody gets deathly sick or hurt or something we will have something to fall back on," said Richard.
"This is going to be a great relief for us. You know anytime you need it, it will be there," said lower Cameron resident Debbie Savoie.
South Cameron Hospital Board members say there is still a lot of work to be done, but they expect phase one to be finish within a few months, which will provide an emergency room, lab and x-ray services, with at least 8 beds.