Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital

Sheri Fink
4
Jul 5, 2014

Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital is a much longer and expanded version of the Pulitzer Prize winning article Sheri Fink wrote about the suspicious deaths in a New Orleans hospital following hurricane Katrina. The author has collected the accounts of surviving doctors, patients, and rescuers, as they tried to save patients when the hospital was flooded, then lost power, and finally lost almost all access to communication to the outside world.  The book can be divided into two sections: the first, stronger half is about the storm and immediate aftermath.  The second half contains the legal drama and criminal investigation that came from Katrina; who was to blame?  How did this happen?  As a reader, what would I have done if I worked at Memorial?  What would I have wanted if I were a patient at Memorial?   There are no easy answers to these questions.  While I found the book engrossing, I would be remiss in not mentioning that the author has many detractors who claim the book is essentially fiction and sensationalized, so read it with an open mind.

 

Written by Jed D.