ATLANTA—When Andrew Nash decided to abandon a successful career in land development to pursue his lifelong dream of owning his own children's hospital, he hoped the venture would be successful.
But he never dreamed it would be this successful.
Open just two weeks, Nash Children's Hospital in downtown Atlanta is already proving to be a big hit, its 635 beds fully occupied and its emergency room boasting waits of up to seven hours.
"I was hoping this place would do well, but this is beyond what I could have possibly imagined," said Nash, surveying the bustle in the hospital's nephrology ward. "Just look at this—rows upon rows of kids hooked up to my dialysis machines. It's absolutely phenomenal."
"It's just so exciting," Nash said. "Every day I come in here, and there's more and more kids. We've barely got enough IV drips for all of them."
Business only got better yesterday, when an 18-wheeler slammed into a school bus at a busy Atlanta intersection. In all, 31 children had to be hospitalized with injuries ranging from broken clavicles to massive brain contusions.
"As soon as I heard about that bus crash, I called up my wife, and we went out to dinner to celebrate," Nash said. "It's still hard to believe how well things are going."
So popular is the new hospital, patients are flocking to it from all over the Southeast. Last Friday, an eight-year-old boy from Shreveport, LA, checked in for a bone-marrow transplant, a $153,000 procedure.
"That's a lot of money to spend," Nash said, "but people really seem to love this place. I just hope they keep coming back."