Truman W. Smith Patients Find Temporary Care - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

12/21/04-Gladewater

Truman W. Smith Patients Find Temporary Care

116 patients were evacuated during Monday night's fire at the facility's administration building. Most of the residents first went to the Gladewater High School.

Staff and family members spent most of Tuesday morning finding temporary care at local nursing homes and hospitals. Nurses didn't get much sleep overnight even though the evacuation went very smoothly. It was done in record time.

Last night was a hardship for parents as well. Beth Cook lives 100 miles away. Her daughter has been a patient there for three years.

Beth made it to Gladewater this morning and decided to take her daughter back home until the center is reopened. But that wasn't an easy decision. "I'm a single mom so I have to get all this stuff lined up because it's 24 hour care. I have to have somebody there to help me with her because I can't even pick her up by myself," says Beth Cook.

Gladewater High School will remain a staging area for the staff. It will house equipment and serve administration needs. The nurses will also continue to care for their own patients even though they are at different hospitals. Each day, the nurses will travel to the various hospitals and nursing homes.

Amy Tatum, reporting. atatum@kltv.com

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