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Duck and cover: Reading Hospital workers rescue ducks from hailstorm

Duck and cover: Hospital workers rescue ducks from hailstorm

WEST READING, Pa. - Reading Hospital is a mecca of medicine, with doctors and nurses hustling and bustling round the clock.

 But tucked in between the hospital walls are courtyards, which have become home to several ducks and their ducklings over the past 15 years.

"Every year our staff is just captivated by seeing these lovely little fluffs of fur," said Wendie Waschitsch, Reading Hospital Communication Services Director.

This year, the hospital has two separate duck families to watch over. But on Thursday, when the damaging hail storm hit, one of those families was in mother nature's path.

"Apparently momma duck had been trying to protect her babies, putting her wings out around them and she must have gotten struck on the head several times because she was unconscious," said Waschitsch.

After making sure all their patients were safe, several members of the hospital staff jumped into action to try and save their beloved ducks.

"While they were gathering them up, there were people lined around these other windows helping them find them because the little ducklings were running pretty fast. And so it was really a team effort by people who did not know each other before," said Waschitsch.

Unfortunately eight of the ten ducklings died.

Wendy Waschitsch rushed the mom and two remaining ducklings to Red Creek Wildlife Center in Schuylkill Haven for treatment.

They ultimately thought the mom would not survive, but later found out she not only pulled through, but was reunited with her two ducklings and even took an orphaned duck under her wing.

On Monday, Dr. Bohnenblust and his wife, a Red Creek volunteer, released the mother, her two surviving ducklings and the adopted duck into Wyomissing Creek.

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