Mayo Clinic releases new documentary ahead of 139th Anniversary of Tornado

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(ABC 6 News) – This weekend marks the 139th anniversary of the tornado that led to the creation of Saint Marys hospital and what is now, Mayo Clinic.

For the first time, Mayo Clinic has created a short film to highlight the events of that day and honor the history that would ultimately create one of the most prestigious hospitals in the world.

It was a hot humid day on August 21, 1883. That same day, a massive tornado destroyed part of the city. Following the aftermath, the Mayo brothers and the Sisters of Saint Francis created a makeshift hospital that would eventually become Saint Marys Hospital.

"We don’t know if the Mayo Brothers would have stayed in Rochester, they may have gone to a larger city, someplace else to practice, but the tornado led to the the opening of Saint Marys that kept the Mayo brothers here that launched the Mayo Clinic of today, so those are the history mystery imponderables, " said Matthew Dacy who is the Director of Heritage Hall at Mayo Clinic.

The five minute film called, Born in A Storm, chronicles the events and shares the memoirs of people who lived through it.

"Staff and patients help feel connected when they see these films, it’s a reminder that we’re part of a cause bigger than our selves individually," said Dacy, "and there is a sense of reassurance that Mayo and the community have been through hard times before, if we work together, we’ll get through it."

The video was produced by Mayo Clinic Heritage Films, which Dacy says was a 20 year endeavor. You can see the full video here ahead of Sunday’s anniversary.