Critically ill babies evacuated from Texas coast ahead of Harvey

FORTH WORTH, Texas — As Hurricane Harvey churned its way toward Texas on Thursday, a children’s hospital along the coast sent its smallest and most vulnerable patients north to wait out the storm.

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Ten critically ill, mostly premature babies were put on planes Thursday for the trip from Corpus Christi, on the Gulf Coast, to Fort Worth, about 400 miles north, according to The Associated Press.

The infants, who were getting treatment in the neonatal intensive care unit of Driscoll Children’s Hospital in Corpus Christi, started to arrive at Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth on Thursday night.

The first of 10 critically ill babies has arrived from Driscoll Children's Hospital and is in transport with our Cook Children's team to our NICU as #HurricaneHarvey threatens the Gulf Coast.

Posted by Cook Children's on Thursday, August 24, 2017

The children were taken to Cook Children’s by the hospital’s Teddy Bear Transport jet, a Cessna Citation Encore+, according to the hospital’s website.

Debbie Boudreaux, transport director at Cook Children's, told WFAA that it was important that officials acted ahead of the storm to ensure the health of the babies.

“The problem with keeping them there (in Forth Worth) is the ventilators, the lifesaving ventilators – they wouldn’t be able to be maintained without electricity,” she told the news station.

Hurricane Harvey is expected to make landfall along the middle Texas coast late Friday or early Saturday, according to the National Hurricane Center. It’s expected to stay near the coast.