Rita evacuee's chemo treatment

Tuesday, September 27th 2005, 10:25 am
By: News On 6

Authorities in Texas and Louisiana are assessing the damage left in Hurricane Rita's wake and many families that scattered to surrounding states are wondering when they'll be allowed to return home.

News on 6 anchor Tami Marler caught up with a Louisiana family who's thankful they survived Rita, but they still have plenty of hurdles to overcome on a long road home.

The Reamey family wanted to avoid the miles and miles and hours and hours of traffic from Texas and Louisiana residents fleeing the coast in a mandatory evacuation. "You know what happened in New Orleans. That wasn't gonna happen to us. So we got out." But the Reamey family of Cameron Parish, Louisiana had one major problem. Lynne Reamey: "I was hooked to a 3-day chemo pump. And my pump was due to end at 3:30 in the afternoon. We had to evacuate, and I couldn't get it taken down so I had to call my oncologist, which was hard because we didn't have phone service and if you got through you were lucky, and then they'd put you on hold."

Even battling breast cancer, Lynne Reamey can laugh about it now, but there was nothing funny about evacuation day. She finally got someone to come remove her chemotherapy pump, but there were more worries ahead. "We did have our two sons with us and their families, and we did manage to get them out earlier so they did get out before the heavy traffic but then we did get caught in it. I wanted to get out of there early as possible so that way we wouldn't have to mess with it, even if it wasn't coming."

The Reameys say it was never a question, they knew they'd grab their child and run if Rita even came close. Now they see images of the damage they know surrounds their home and they can only imagine what awaits them when they're allowed to return. "It's not the greatest feeling in the world to have you know your whole city around where you know your house is messed up but we got the important stuff out, so that's all that matters."

A Louisiana family is now finding shelter in Oklahoma, as they figure out how to weather the next storm.

Lynne Reamey's home cancer center set her up with treatment in Oklahoma and Texas, until she can return to her regular doctor. Her husband returned to work in Louisiana Tuesday.

The Reameys lived in one of the worst-damaged areas of Lake Charles. They're not sure when they'll return. In the meantime, they're staying with family in Owasso.