Marine Corps veteran in Panama City Beach told his story Sunday on The Weather Channel series “Storm Stories: The Next Chapter," which tells personal stories of people caught in extreme weather.
PANAMA CITY — Days before Hurricane Michael hit in October, Bryan Joy had to make an emergency trip to a local hospital.
The Marine Corps veteran and entrepreneur suffered a ruptured intestine and was separated from his family because his wife, Camille Chigi, who was active duty at Tyndall Air Force Base, was forced to evacuate with their children.
Joy said his time at Gulf Coast Regional Medical Center was “intense” because windows blew out and people were packed into the facility. Joy made it out safely and eventually was airlifted to Pensacola.
“That’s where my wife and I were reunited,” Joy said.
Their story was told Sunday on The Weather Channel during an episode of the series “Storm Stories: The Next Chapter,” which tells personal stories of people caught in extreme weather.
“We hope it brings attention back to Panama City,” said Joy, who lives in Panama City Beach and reflected on the challenges the area faces more than 10 months later. “More needs to be done.”
A promotional video posted Aug. 21 on Twitter shows Chigi talking about the difficult choice to evacuate while her husband was in the hospital, with Chigi saying she didn’t know if she could care for him in the car considering his wounds, stitches and medications.
As Hurricane Michael hits Florida, a hospital-bound man must ride out the storm as his wife and children evacuate to safety.
A NEW episode of Storm Stories: The Next Chapter premieres Sunday at 8/7c.pic.twitter.com/1yZRdzwAKT
“The hardest moment for me as a mom and wife was that moment when the car was packed,” Chigi said in the video. “I basically looked at my kids and the car and thought I can either go see my husband in the hospital or I can get the kids out in time and there wasn’t time for both.”
Chigi decided to evacuate to Alabama with their children. She was eight months pregnant at the time, eventually giving birth to their third child. As for Joy and his experiences, he said he and others in the hospital were unsure if the facility would hold up once they realized the storm was gaining monster strength as it headed straight for the Florida Panhandle.
He survived, though, and has been healthy ever since. He also called filming the series episode a “great experience.”
“It all worked out for the best,” Joy said.
This story originally published to newsherald.com, and was shared to other Florida newspapers in the GateHouse Media network.