Scott Witt, MD
Perinatologist, Sutter Santa Rosa Regional Hospital, Santa Rosa, CA
As his family’s home burned and his hospital was threatened by deadly wildfires, Dr. Scott Witt took to his motorcycle to ensure the NICU babies in his care were safely evacuated.
In the early hours of the morning, in the midst of deadly wildfires, one doctor had a singular focus — his NICU patients.
At 2 a.m., Dr. Scott Witt got the call that his young patients were being moved to a different hospital six miles away, carefully by ambulance, as the entire Sutter Santa Rosa hospital was forced to evacuate.
As his family evacuated from their own home, Dr. Witt headed to Sutter Santa Rosa to oversee the evacuation of every NICU patient, a process that took six harrowing hours as fires raged closer to the hospital.
Once he confirmed every baby was loaded safely into an ambulance, Dr. Witt took to the road — on his motorcycle — to ensure every baby was safe and their new hospital had all the information needed to care for these vulnerable patients.
Dr. Witt’s ride was dangerous. He trailed the ambulance transporting the NICU patients, using the ambulance lights to guide him through the thick smoke. Power lines and tree branches littered the road. Flames and embers from the nearby wildfires flickered across the highway.
“I wasn’t really thinking of the danger because I was just thinking about what the babies would need. I know each baby personally, I know what they need and I wanted to pass that on to their new doctors.”
Dr. Scott Witt
Dr. Witt made it to the new hospital safely — and so did all of his patients. After consulting with the staff at the new hospital, Dr. Witt checked on his own family. They were safe, but their home was destroyed by the wildfires.
In times of crisis, hospitals are there for every patient. Dr. Witt’s story is just one example of the selflessness displayed by doctors, nurses, and other hospital employees during emergencies.
Thank you, Dr. Witt, for all you did to protect NICU babies in the middle of deadly California wildfires!
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