Love in the Perfect Storm: Hurricane Katrina – 10 Years later
NEW ORLEANS – Ten years ago, Bryan Condon and Allison Martin found love in the most hopeless of places: the storm-ravaged halls of New Orleans’ Tenet-owned Memorial Medical Center, colloquially known in the community as “Baptist.”
The then teenagers were accustomed to riding out hurricanes at the hospital with their families because their mothers worked as nurses. On August 28, 2005, Bryan and Allison entered Memorial Medical Center with the same expectations as past storms.
“We just thought it would be like any other hurricane,” Allison says of the overall mood. “One big party, a big sleepover with all the kids … we had no clue what was in store for us, at all.”
The days following Hurricane Katrina, floodwaters inundated the hospital and the situation disintegrated into “controlled chaos.” Through it all, Bryan stayed by Allison’s side – escorting her between floors as the two assisted with patient evacuations. “Once the power shut off, we started talking in more detail about everything and we really got to know each other,” recalls Bryan.
Despite the challenging conditions, the real turning point came with their own imminent evacuation, days after the storm made landfall.
“It really wasn’t until I was getting into that helicopter that I realized that I was leaving someone who I’ve started getting very close to.” Bryan remembers. “And I had no clue how to contact her, no clue where she was going or where she was going to be.”
The two were able to reconnect months later, and began talking to one another on the phone every night. They were eventually reunited when Bryan showed up unannounced on Alison’s doorstep to ask her out to dinner, and the two have been together ever since.
The two then teenagers forged an extraordinary bond which would eventually lead them to marriage, and more – the arrival of a new bundle of joy nearly 10 years later – at the new Women’s Pavilion at Ochsner Baptist.
“It’s crazy to think that 10 years ago, we were at the hospital in the worst situation you could ever possibly think of. And now we’re going to be back there to have a baby,” Bryan explains. “We’re going from the worst to the absolute best.”
“I was born at Baptist, experienced a lot of things at Baptist, met my husband and went through this tragic life-changing experience there. Now we’re having our first baby at Ochsner Baptist. It’s kind of funny how a lot of these big moments in my life have happened there. I love being there. It certainly feels like home to me,” comments Allison.
On July 28, 2015, a healthy baby boy, Jackson Joseph Condon, was born at Ochsner Baptist. The new parents are overcome with joy and are thankful that a dire situation became the stepping stone for their happily ever after.
View the video of Bryan and Allison's journey below.
Ochsner Health System is Louisiana’s largest non-profit, academic healthcare system. Driven by a mission to Serve, Heal, Lead, Educate and Innovate, coordinated clinical and hospital patient care is provided across the region by Ochsner's 25 owned, managed and affiliated hospitals and more than 50 health centers. Ochsner is the only Louisiana hospital recognized by U.S. News & World Report as a “Best Hospital” across six specialty categories caring for patients from all 50 states and more than 90 countries worldwide each year. Ochsner employs nearly 17,000 employees, nearly 1,000 physicians in over 90 medical specialties and subspecialties and conducts over 750 clinical research studies. Ochsner Health System is proud to be a tobacco-free environment. For more information, please visit ochsner.org and follow us on Twitter and Facebook.