FORT MYERS, Fla. (KFOR) – The Oklahoma Children’s Hospital OU Health neonatal transport services team left for Fort Myers, Florida, on Saturday.

According to OU Health, the team’s goal is to assist in evacuating NICU babies from area hospitals. The team was requested because they are one of the few neonatal transport teams in the nation. They are estimated to evacuate up to 75 critically ill and pre-term babies to other hospitals in Florida or nearby states, depending on access.

“We feel very fortunate to possess the skills that are needed to be able to help these babies in their time of need. When we received the call to help it was never question of IF we were going. It was how fast can we safely get there to get to work evacuating the babies in need,” said Kaylun Peters, Oklahoma Children’s Hospital neonatal transport team member.

According to a news release, the three Oklahoma Children’s Hospital team members who left on Saturday, October 1, are Jamie Lewis, Chelsea Watson and Kaylun Peters.

Jamie Lewis, Chelsea Watson and Kaylun Peters. (Pictured front to back) Image courtesy OU Health

“The impact of Hurricane Ian has been devastating for Florida. With one of only a few neonatal care flight teams in the country, we have a rare skill set needed to evacuate critically ill and premature babies out of the hurricane zone and to safe hospital surroundings. As Oklahomans, we have been through natural disasters and have seen first responders from across the country come to our aid. It is our honor to head to Florida and help these patients and their families,”

Andrew Gormley, M.D., medical director Oklahoma Children’s Hospital Critical Care Transport.