UR doctors, nurses return from Puerto Rico

November 10, 2017 07:32 PM

"I was shocked at the devastation," says Luis Rosario-McCabe, University of Rochester Medicine.

"It was hard to leave, really hard to leave actually," adds Wendy Allen-Thompson, registered nurse.

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A team of ten URMC doctors, nurses and nurse practitioners are back from Puerto Rico. They cared for people in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. Six weeks after the storm hit, access to care remains an issue.

Aida Santiago tells us, "Over and over I saw my doctor or my primary care physician right before the storm and I'm not sure when they're coming back."

Nurse practitioner Aida Santiago grew up in Puerto Rico. She was brought to tears talking about the plight of Puerto Rican people in Maria's aftermath. For two weeks, she and nine colleagues stayed in tents in Fajardo on the eastern coast of the island. Among the most common issues: anxiety and injuries from rebuilding. Others just needed electricity.

Taina Ramos says, "We were having people coming in and saying I have the medicine, I have the equipment, I don't have any power."

The health care workers pleaded for more relief, but despite the lack of power and limited access to clean water members of the UR team say the positive spirit of their patients will remain with them.

Allen-Thompson says, "150 people a day; we saw nearly 2,000 in the two weeks. We were there and there was never a complaint."


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