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Woman Tries To Find People Who Saved Her Life

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I belong to an online forum of people who work in broadcast news called "ShopTalk." A woman who was looking for some people was told she should post her message there. It worked, and she was reunited with the TV news crew that saved her life during the hurricane. It's not an especially heartwarming story, but it's at least interesting, and gives us another first-hand account of what happened after the storm, so I thought I'd post her message here.

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Seeking Crew That Saved me in New Orleans

Author: csalerno

Date: Dec 27, 2005 3:00 AM EST

I am trying to track down the news crew that saved my life the day after Katrina in New Orleans. After three months of calling stations, a reporter suggested I post on this site.

If it hadn't been for that news crew I would have been one of those many unidentified bodies at St. Gabriel's, my family never certain what happened to me. I hope the news crew will recognize themselves in the story below and give me the chance to thank them.

If you helped a small, sunburned, middle aged woman with glasses dressed in shorts, t shirt, and tennis shoes with a very nasty gash on her leg that was covered with a diaper and blood soaked roll of paper towels in front of the Sheraton at 500 Canal St in the afternoon on Tuesday, August 30th in New Orleans, please find me.

Having conned our way out of the Superdome Monday, my fiance and I attended a neighborhood meeting Tuesday where I was assigned the task of finding a working phone. I road my bike to a store on St Claude St, which had been dry on Monday but was now flooded. Throngs of people were wading down the street from the Lower Nine. Learning of the levy break, I decided I had better wait in line for the phone anyway because it may be my last chance for a while.

Suddenly I was attacked. Thrown into the flood water, I cut my calf down to the bone with muscles hanging out and blood gushing every where. I tried to get up, but couldn't use my leg. Long story goes here, but suffice it to say that with of scores of people around, including police and fire, only three private citizens came to my aid. They slowed my bleeding and forced a van to stop by lying across the road and refusing to move. To the protests of the driver, they threw me in his van and one of them jumped in with me.

By now I am very weak and things are blurry. I remember the driver stopping in the 500 block of Canal St. and refusing to go further. My helper grabbed me under my arms and pulled me out of the van. I looked across Canal. It is still daylight, but it must be late afternoon. A reporter was standing in front of a camera in the neutral ground and a couple of police cars were parked across the street in front of the Sheraton. I remember being dragged between the photographer and the reporter and I think I hear the reporter say something like "and they continue to bring in the wounded". The next thing I remember is my helper, a young man with long brown hair, and a woman pleading with a police officer to help me. The cop was saying I got that far, I could get to the Superdome on my own and the woman was telling the cop she was a nurse and I would die if I didn't get immediate medical assistance. The cop threatened to arrest everyone if we didn't leave right then. I remember thinking I was going to die. In the United States of America, surrounded by thousands of people, I was going to bleed to death on the street.

Suddenly there was a camera pointed at the cop and me. I lost focus, but I heard a male voice saying he knew his rights, it was a public street and he wanted video of a police officer refusing to help a seriously injured woman. The voice exchanged heated words with the cop's voice for what seemed like forever, but I don't remember the words. What ever the reporter or photographer said, it worked, because the cop put me in his car and took me toward medical aid. Another long story goes here, but the end result was I got the medical help I needed in the nick of time. I am here and I am alive.

If it hadn't been for that reporter and photographer I would have died that day on Canal St. I'd like to thank them for my life, but I don't know how to find them. I don't know who they worked for; I don't know what they looked like. But I do know they made something happen when no one else would or could. I may not be able to find them, but maybe they can find me.

Thank you. Cynthia Salerno

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