The explosion at Coryell Memorial Hospital on June 26 sent a shockwave that rattled all of Gatesville. Fifteen employees of Lochridge-Priest out of Waco were badly injured and Michael Bruggman of Rogers was killed. They and their families have been forever changed by the wave of destruction. Our hearts go out to them and we all hope for a full recovery.
After the tragic blast, the community responded quickly. Soon, there was a wave of action from all corners of the area. The injured were cared for and the seniors at the nursing home were relocated. A wave of healing and prayer and love has washed over Gatesville, Waco, and all the towns of the area even more powerful than the deadly blast.
A community in action
Immediately after the terrible tragedy, Baylor Scott & White Medical Center in Temple sprang into action for the injured as well as four patients that had to be evacuated from Coryell. Churches and homes in Gatesville opened their doors for the residents of The Meadows and The Oaks elder care centers at Coryell, giving them shelter until their homes were safe again.
Power was restored quickly to most of Gatesville by the evening, too. The entire community came together in a wave as powerful as the tragic blast that ripped so many lives apart.
This was not the only wave that came over the community. A call for blood for the injured at Scott & White was answered within 24 hours as people lined up to do what they could. That wave reached communities far away as blood centers quickly responded.
Through it all, everyone in Gatesville, Waco, and Temple are showing their love and support. With the immediate response over, prayers for the victims and their families continue across the area as Coryell works to rebuild and reopen as soon as possible.
Healing and recovery
The road to recovery is going to be long for many of the victims. Most suffered severe burns and seven were in critical condition immediately after the blast. They and their families will need our support for weeks and even months to come.
The response of the communities here has been tremendous. As impressive as the wave of support has been, we have a long road ahead as we work to rebuild the shattered lives and community. The initial waves of quick action and support show that we all have what it takes to come back from this tragedy.