Major Houston Cancer Center Forced To Cancel Life-Saving Treatments

MD Anderson's primary Houston hospital was full of filthy water after Tropical Storm Harvey flooded the facility. The center had to cancel treatments of cancer patients.


In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, MD Anderson's primary Houston hospital, a cancer treatment center, was engulfed with filthy water. The hospital had no choice but to cancel all its scheduled appointments.

The cancer hospital issued a statement, informing patients that the hospital is closed for appointments until Tuesday. Meanwhile, emergency crews are waiting for the water to recede to restore all operations.

The hospital has still not been evacuated. But the administration said the patients inside the hospital are being taken care of despite the severe situation.

“High water conditions persist in the Texas Medical Center, and travel should not be attempted,” said Dr. Karen Lu, MD Anderson’s senior vice president and chief medical officer. “All leaks reported yesterday are under control, and patient care has not been impacted.”

Dr. Ashish Kamat, a urologic oncology surgeon, explained how he and many of his other colleagues were not able to return to the facility since the intense storm. 

“The streets have opened up a little bit. We’re still not open for routine business and we’re not really encouraging patients to leave, even though some of them want to leave, unless they’re completely recovered,” Kamat said.

Kamat, who lives near the cancer center, uploaded pictures on Twitter, where the hospital is seen covered with several feet of water all over the roads and parking area.

Other pictures uploaded on Twitter show the parking lot of the hospital filled with muddy water, while streams seepg through the lobby area of the hospital.


Though the patients inside are taken care of, the situation is still precarious because of storm surge and continuing rain.

"My husband and I woke up to a foot of water in our apartment," said Ron Gilmore, a public relations specialist at MD Anderson. "We grabbed a few clothes and our dogs and started walking out in waist-deep water."

"We lost our car and almost everything we have of course," he said. "But we're fine."

Gilmore also mentioned the situation of people who were in a much more trying time. "As we were walking, a woman came out and said, 'Are you a doctor?'" he said. "We said no and she told us she had a neighbor going into labor. There was nothing we could do. She couldn't reach 911."

On Sunday, residents of a flooded assisted living facility in Dickinson, Texas, were rescued after a photo of them waist-deep in water emerged online.

Thumbnail Credits: Reuters, Rick Wilking

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