The Norman Transcript

Moore Strong - Six month later

November 20, 2013

Moore Medical Center executive recounts whirlwind first week on the job

(Continued)

MOORE —

By people, Wells meant trauma care patients. The hospital had already seen an influx of patients coming in from the east Norman, Little Axe, and Shawnee following the May 19 tornado.

Meanwhile, hospital team members went into the demolished Moore Medical structure to retrieve wheel chairs, oxygen and other supplies for the triage center.

Back at the command center, communication proved challenging in the wake of the tornado, but eventually the word came that everyone at Moore Medical was safe. Wells said that was a huge relief.

Then patients started coming in.

“We had a kid here that had no parents,” Wells said.

She said the team went to the media and got help finding the child’s family. During the chaos following the tornado, many parents were having trouble reaching their children because of traffic jams.

Doctors and staff at Moore Medical all lost their cars during the tornado. Two doctors desperately needed to return home and check on their children. Splitt gave them his car keys and texted his wife not to worry when the car showed up without him. He remained at the Moore Medical site, talking with people in the community until midnight. He then hitched a ride with an ambulance and got dropped off near his parents’ house.

For the next few days, Wells practically lived at the Porter campus as she worked with the leadership team to resolve problems and keep information flowing. Most of the leadership were working round the clock, she said. Her home was intact but had no power or water.

Splitt said once he knew his people at Moore Medical were safe, the questions became, “What do we do now? Where do we go tomorrow?”

He encouraged staff to try to go home and not worry about work.

“That was my job,” he said.

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