The fifth episode of Apple TV+’s medical drama ‘Five Days at Memorial’ revolves around the evacuation of New Orleans’ Memorial Medical Center and LifeCare Hospitals. Officials of the Memorial hospital decide that they should prioritize evacuating people who can move on their own, leaving several patients as the last priority, including Rodney Scott. Since he weighs more than 300 pounds, they believe that it will be very hard, if not impossible, to evacuate Scott through the hole made to evacuate people through helicopters. Since the episode depicts the plight of Scott in detail, we have found out whether he is a real person. Here’s everything you need to know about the same!
Is Rodney Scott Based on a Real Memorial Patient?
Yes, Rodney Scott is based on the eponymous patient admitted to Memorial Medical Center at the time of Hurricane Katrina and the subsequent flood. Scott even previously worked at Baptist, the former name of Memorial, as a nurse. He was recovering from a heart attack and multiple surgeries. Since he weighed more than three hundred pounds, as per Sheri Fink’s eponymous source text of the show, a doctor was skeptical about evacuating him through the narrow passageway created to take patients to the hospital garage and then to the helipad. Thus, the doctor decided that Scott should be the last patient to be evacuated from Memorial.
Scott was aware of the difficulties concerning evacuating him. “Am I going to make it out? They said they can’t get my size out,” he asked the nurse supervisor, as per the source text of the show. “We’re going to get you out, just like everyone else,” she replied. Scott was eventually evacuated from the hospital building. He was transferred to a pickup truck upon sliding him through a hole in the machine room wall. Several volunteers hoisted him up the open metal steps to the helipad. After getting him to the helipad, four men pushed his wheelchair to a Coast Guard helicopter. Unfortunately, an ICU nurse was pinned against the helicopter by the wheelchair during the process, bruising his ribs and spleen.
Scott was the last living patient evacuated from Memorial. He hit his head in the helicopter and was taken to New Orleans airport, where he was left alone for two days. Then-nurse manager of Memorial, Karen Wynn, spotted Scott in the airport, “shivering in a paper gown, without a soul taking care of him,” as per Fink’s book.
Where is Rodney Scott Now?
After spending two difficult days in New Orleans airport, Rodney Scott eventually reunited with his family. As of 2009, Scott was reportedly living in a town in St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana. Sheri Fink, the writer of the source text of the show, interviewed Rodney regarding his time in Memorial. “Every time you can save a life, save it,” Scott told Fink. He added that he doesn’t know whether euthanasia occurred in Memorial. “How can you say euthanasia is better than evacuation? If they had vital signs, you could evacuate them … get ’em out. Let God make that decision,” he told Fink, as per the source text of the show.
Except for his interview with Sheri Fink, Scott has lived a life away from the spotlight. He also doesn’t maintain a social media presence. As per Fink’s book, Scott was suffering from “lingering medical problems that kept him from getting around much.”