Apple TV+’s medical drama ‘Five Days at Memorial’ revolves around the true story of the discovery of forty-five dead bodies in a New Orleans building that accommodates Memorial Medical Center and LifeCare Hospitals after Hurricane Katrina and the subsequent flood. In reality, lethal doses of drugs were found in several bodies discovered in the Memorial hospital building, leading to the arrest of Dr. Anna Pou and nurses Lori Budo and Cheri Landry in connection with four deaths. Since the two nurses were alleged to have played a part in the deaths, the viewers must be intrigued to know more about them and their current whereabouts. Well, let us share what we know!
Who are Lori Budo and Cheri Landry?
Lori Budo and Cheri Landry worked as surgical intensive care unit nurses at Memorial Medical Center at the time of Hurricane Katrina and the subsequent flood. After the discovery of the dead bodies, autopsies were performed and morphine was immediately detected in nine bodies. In July 2006, Budo and Landry, along with Dr. Anna Pou, were arrested and charged with four counts of second-degree murder for allegedly administering lethal doses of morphine and another drug to four LifeCare patients. As per the eponymous source text of the show, written by Sheri Fink, the investigators believed that Budo and Landry were Pou’s accomplices.
At the time of Landry’s arrest, she was working at a local hospital, and Budo was arrested while she was at home with her husband and two teenage children. To financially assist Budo and Landry, nurses who had worked with them launched a support fund. Budo and Landry were given monthly allowances to cover bills, food, and clothing, in addition to other financial gifts. Meanwhile, the families of three out of four deceased patients filed lawsuits against the two nurses as well. Budo and Landry were eventually served subpoenas to testify without counsel before the grand jury in return for not prosecuting them.
The appeal challenging the subpoenas of Budo and Landry got denied by Louisiana Supreme Court, leading them to testify before the special grand jury in return for immunity in the case. According to the source text, Landry testified that she “had injected up to four of the LifeCare patients on the seventh floor and two patients on the second floor” without being familiar with the medical conditions of the LifeCare patients. She also added that she believed all of them were “going to die” and assumed that they had do-not-resuscitate orders.
Budo testified that she was “unaware of the medical conditions of the patients on the seventh floor or their DNR statuses, but they appeared to be dying,” as per the source text of the show. She added that she had “injected two of them with morphine and midazolam.”
Where Are Lori Budo and Cheri Landry Now?
After getting immunity, Lori Budo and Cheri Landry continued to work as nurses. As per Sheri Fink’s source text, when Memorial Medical Center restarted its operation as Ochsner Baptist Medical Center under the new ownership of Ochsner Health System, Budo and Landry eventually joined the hospital as nurses. In 2012, Fink visited the hospital and recollected seeing Budo and Landry’s smiling faces on the bulletin board in the staff room at the place in her book.
In 2010, Budo published ‘Katrina Through Our Eyes: Stories from Inside Baptist Hospital,’ a fictionalized account of Memorial’s ICU staff and their families, based on their experiences in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. In the book, almost all of the names of the staff are fictionalized, except hers. Budo has chosen to stay away from the spotlight ever since. While writing the source text of the show, Fink has repeatedly tried to interview Budo but the latter declined the author’s request through her lawyer. Both Budo and Landry have chosen to keep their personal lives private.