A continuation of the Flashback series – my Invasion story – which was started last August 2, 2016 to go with the actual day, August 2, 1990, when Kuwait was invaded by Iraq. The brief notation below forms part of the story “A Call of Duty” which got published online last August 2, 2000 via my topic “Overseas Filipino Workers” on Suite101.com.
January 17, 1991 (Thursday) . Nobody came to report for morning duty and the night sisters were still in the ward when I came to the Nursery at 7 am. I sent all the night sisters home and called all the available staff staying in the Hostel. Bombings, which started early morning of the previous day, still continued and can be heard by us. This prompted the transfer of the patients and babies from the second floor to the basement. Because of the haste of transferring the babies in cribs, the sound created by the wheels and cribs bumping each other started the fear among everybody and soon panic was all over the faces of both patients and the hospital staff.
While the babies in cribs were being transferred to the basement and some of the patients to the lobby, I was left in the Nursery giving instructions to my staff what things and equipment to be transferred as well. When I finally reached the basement, I was met by a tragic sight – mothers who had just delivered were panicking and shouting. I felt a strong compassion and pity for them and when I saw the babies all crammed in two small rooms, I cried. I cursed Saddam Hussein for what he did! I had a hard time controlling my tears; I had to be strong as everybody was looking up to me for support.
Later on the babies were transferred to the lobby, nearer to where their mothers were. I was very very tired then but I had to stay. I couldn’t leave the makeshift ward – both the male and female patients were lying in trolleys in the lobby – separated only by a cloth divider. I attended to some of the patient while at the same time managing the temporary nursery.