JERSEY CITY, NJ – The City Council unanimously approved a resolution on March 13, introduced by Councilman-at-Large Rolando R. Lavarro, Jr., commending the NYU Langone Medical Center nurse Menchu DeLuna Sanchez, whose quick thinking and self-less actions during Hurricane Sandy saved 20 high-risk babies from the flooding hospital. Sanchez was recognized by President Barack Obama earlier in the year during the State of the Union address in Washington D.C., and sat alongside the First Lady Michelle Obama. Council members gave a standing ovation to Ms. Sanchez who humbly and graciously accepted their praise and kind words. Councilman Lavarro and the entire Council presented Sanchez with the resolution along with a lavish bouquet of flowers.
On October 29-30, Super Storm Sandy ripped through the Northeastern United States severely battering parts of both New York and New Jersey, causing nearly $75 billion in damages. It was during this hurricane that Sanchez, along with other nurses, carried 20 babies in critical condition, over several trips, down eight flights of stairs, guided only by the light from their cell phones. During this time of unimaginable heroism, Sanchez’s home in Secaucus was being flooded.
“Menchu is a true Filipino American hero,” said Lavarro in a written statement. “She exemplified presence of mind, courage, determination, and resolve in the face of the most adverse circumstances. Filipino Americans everywhere should be proud to have Menchu as role model.”
Born and raised in Catanauan Quezon, Sanchez graduated with a nursing degree at the Mary Chiles Hospital in Sampaloc, Manila. She obtained her bachelor’s degree in nursing at the Makati Medical Center school of nursing, then migrated to America in the 80s. She has worked as a nurse in New York for more than 25 years, and has been at NYU since 2010.
Sanchez has been recognized not only by the White House staff, but also by her hometown of Secaucus, NYU Langone Medical Center, and the Philippine Nurses Association of New Jersey, Hudson County Chapter.
PHOTO 1: Councilman Rolando Lavarro with Menchu de Luna Sanchez and family.
PHOTO 2: Councilman Rolando Lavarro with Menchu de Luna Sanchez and family and members of the Filipino American community in Jersey City.