Baby born in Family Dollar parking lot during hurricane is thriving

NC mothers give birth in makeshift hospital due to Florence's floodwaters

BURGAW, N.C. (WECT) - As Hurricane Florence bore down on the Cape Fear, the emergency department on wheels parked in the Family Dollar parking lot was the only operational hospital within a 50 mile radius.

Avah Murphy was one of two babies that came into the world as the rain beat the roof of the mobile hospital . In honor of the special circumstances of the birth, her family chose “Storm” as the baby girl’s middle name.

Atrium Health followed up with the family and the team that served as the main care provider in the county following the storm, treating more than 900 patients in just ten days.

Avah Storm came into the world in a mobile hospital.
Avah Storm came into the world in a mobile hospital. (Source: Atrium Health)

Dawn Middleton, RN and MED-1 teammate still remembers the day Avah’s mother, Keyana, rushed to the unit on Friday, September 21.

"“Keyana is the one to be celebrated in all of this,” says Middleton. “She was just so strong during all of it. To this day it makes me emotional. I remember telling her ‘You can, you can do this.’ And then she did — she did it so beautifully.”

The delivery team kept in touch with the Murphy family over the past year, sharing photos, sending Christmas cards and invitations to Avah’s first birthday party.

“The staff is just full of great caring people,” says Keyana. “They were so full of patience and so reassuring. They did everything they could do to make me feel welcome and cared for and went out of their way to keep my family happy.”

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