Stroud's hospital re-opens

Thursday, March 1st 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

Tornados are images many Oklahomans can't forget. The May 3rd tornado nearly left the town of Stroud in ruins. But Thursday, Stroud's once devastated hospital re-opened.

KOTV's Sean Mossman was the first reporter inside the new hospital. Bill Sasser has been called crazy several times in the past two years. Crazy to think the town of Stroud could rebuild their regional hospital after the infamous may third tornado. But that's exactly what's happened and Thursday morning the 25 bed facility re-opened its doors. "It's not just Stroud it's effecting. It's true when we call it a regional hospital. It's a regional hospital more than just us."

Sasser says, until now, sick patients had to travel twenty to thirty miles to Cushing. He estimates about four people have died since the tornado just due the travel time to an emergency room. For many employees, the rebuilding process has been long and hard.

The hospital is now fully staffed and raring to take on patients. The hospitals roof took the brunt of that fateful tornado. It, along with hundreds of feet of water-damaged walls, has been replaced. The final price tag, just over $2.5-million. "Some towns would have said forget it. To have this town grow you have to have a hospital."

There are a few changes to the new hospital, like bigger rooms for the handicapped. But, Sasser says the spirit of the old hospital is still there. "This hallway will always hold mixed memories for employees who were here that night. It's where they huddled with patients as the storm tore up the hospital around them. It's also where the last baby was born in the old hospital."

Now there will be new memories made, including a very anticipated milestone, the first baby in the new hospital.