Riding Out The Storm In The Maternity Ward NPR's Linda Wertheimer talks with Ben Black, who is sheltering from the hurricane at a Fort Myers hospital where his wife recently gave birth.
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Riding Out The Storm In The Maternity Ward

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Riding Out The Storm In The Maternity Ward

Riding Out The Storm In The Maternity Ward

Riding Out The Storm In The Maternity Ward

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NPR's Linda Wertheimer talks with Ben Black, who is sheltering from the hurricane at a Fort Myers hospital where his wife recently gave birth.

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

As Hurricane Irma moves up the west coast of Florida, the eye of the storm is expected to pass right by Fort Myers. And that's where Ben and Susie Black (ph) are sheltering in the maternity ward of the HealthPark Medical Center. They had a baby boy on Friday. Thank you for joining us on this big occasion. Congratulations to you both.

BEN BLACK: Thank you.

WERTHEIMER: Ben, what did you call this baby boy?

B BLACK: His name is William.

WERTHEIMER: William? Willie (laughter)?

B BLACK: Yep. Yeah.

WERTHEIMER: You resisted the temptation to call him Irma?

B BLACK: Yes, we did (laughter).

WERTHEIMER: And how does it look where you are - the weather, I mean.

B BLACK: Well, it's raining currently. It's a little windy. But we haven't gotten any major wind yet. But it's coming.

WERTHEIMER: So was it your plan all along to shelter in the hospital?

B BLACK: Yes, it was because my wife actually wasn't due until the 18. So I didn't want to travel too far with her being, you know, so close to her due date. But it turned out the baby came 10 days early, and now we're here in a room.

WERTHEIMER: And they're willing to - they're going to let you stay, huh?

B BLACK: Yes. They won't discharge us until there's an all-clear.

WERTHEIMER: Could you pass the phone to your wife, to Susie?

B BLACK: Here she is.

SUSIE BLACK: Good morning.

WERTHEIMER: Good morning. Susie, how are you doing?

S BLACK: I'm great, thanks. How are you?

WERTHEIMER: Good. Is Baby William taking well - taking to the hurricane, you think?

S BLACK: (Laughter) Yes. Thank goodness he's in been a very good boy. He wanted a good story for when he grows up.

WERTHEIMER: Well, that would be a very good story? I mean, are you going to tell him about running from the hurricane...

S BLACK: Oh, my gosh.

WERTHEIMER: ...And sheltering in the hospital?

S BLACK: Yes. It's been such an unforgettable experience - very, very scary. But we're just so thankful for all the hospital staff taking such wonderful care of us. We couldn't - we can't say enough wonderful things about the hospital.

WERTHEIMER: Now, you had to leave your home before you meant to do it. What can you tell us? Have you heard anything about your house and how it's holding up?

S BLACK: No. You know, obviously, right now the storm hasn't hit fully. But we are very worried about going home with our two children to - you know, we're very afraid of what we might go home to. But we're just - keep being so thankful that we have healthy children. And we're together, and that's all that matters. We can rebuild anything else.

WERTHEIMER: So you are a family of - what? - five now?

S BLACK: Four. Four. We have two children.

WERTHEIMER: You're a fam of four. And you are in the hospital, all four of you?

S BLACK: Were in the hospital, yes.

WERTHEIMER: So what do you plan to do when the storm stops?

S BLACK: Well, when the storm stops, and they give the all-clear to leave, the first thing will be to see if we even have a car that we can get into because they're expecting flooding in this area. And then we'll go from there - one step at a time.

WERTHEIMER: Well, thank you very much. Susie and Ben Black talking to us from the maternity ward at HealthPark Medical Center...

S BLACK: Thank you.

WERTHEIMER: ...In Fort Myers, Fla.

S BLACK: Thank you.

WERTHEIMER: Congratulations to you both.

S BLACK: Thank you. And, really, we can't say enough wonderful things...

WERTHEIMER: Oh, there he is. Is that little Will?

S BLACK: Yes, that's him in the background.

(LAUGHTER)

WERTHEIMER: Well, we'll be bringing you more on Hurricane Irma from Lulu and from our correspondents throughout the morning.

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