Lake Charles Native, Dr. Russell Ledet Returns Home to Help in Hurricane Laura's Aftermath

“I’m doing everything I can…my city needs a lot of help.”

Dr. Russell Ledet and daughter
Photo: NBC / Contributor/Getty Images

Dr. Russell Ledet appeared twice on Good Morning America this week, but the mood of the two appearances couldn't be starker in difference. Monday, the national morning show featured Ledet in their "Make Your Monday" series where they honor local heroes. He told anchors T.J. Holmes and Cecelia Vega, that he thought "only rich people went to college," so he enrolled in the Navy. After his service he then supported his schooling by becoming a security guard at Baton Rouge General Hospital. He earned his PhD in 2018, and now in his third year of medical school (as well as an MBA program at the same time) and his medical school program has him back in that very same Baton Rouge hospital where he once worked security. The 34-year old husband, and father of two, also co-founded the group, The 15 White Coats, a group of medical students with a mission to inspire and enable more people of color to enter the medical field. They raise money to specifically help with the financial burdens that come from just applying to medical school and ultimately increase diversity in medicine. "We want kids to believe and not only believe but act on this volition that you can be anything that your mind to," he told GMA. The news anchors then surprised him with a virtual meeting with one of his favorite musicians, Gregory Porter. You can watch the full segment below:

Dr. Ledet returned to GMA today but for a more somber reason. Ledet's hometown is Lake Charles, Louisiana, one of the hardest hit areas by Hurricane Laura. In the wake of this historic, powerful, category 4 storm, there is so much destruction. Homes, businesses, the local hospital, and even the water treatment plant have catastrophic damage, leaving immense need in this small town. As news reports poured in and after locating all of his family members and ensuring their safety, Ledet sprung into action to help. He spoke again with the morning show and said, "I'm doing everything I can. Losing a lot of sleep, but I'm ok with that because my city needs a lot of help." Ledet said that he spoke with the mayor of Lake Charles who told him some of the specific items that this community needs immediately. The list includes tarps, chainsaws, generators, and a lot water as the water plant is a complete loss now, leaving the city without a clean water supply. Power is also off and expected to remain so for quite some time. Ledet and some of his fellow medical school classmates are headed there today to "help in whatever way we can." He also enlisted his comrades in The 15 White Coats and the organization will now be taking donations that can be identified by the donor to be earmarked for hurricane relief efforts. Ledet said that they will make sure 100% of those donations go directly to the immediate needs of the people of Lake Charles and the surrounding areas. "You can also send water down there. 2701 19th Street in Lake Charles, Louisiana is the location that I'll be at. You can have water sent there. There is a big parking lot right next to my dad's house and he's willing to have people send whatever they can there." You can watch the full segment below:

WATCH: Hurricane Laura Made Landfall as a Category 4 Storm Causing Major Damage: Here's How to Help

"The community of Lake Charles is truly a melting pot. We work together. We're a blue color community and we do everything we can to try to help each other. And this is the time where our resilience will be tested. But as The 15 White Coats say, resilience is in our DNA and I know the city of Lake Charles will bounce back."

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