My sister, Carol LePage Howson, is an Emergency Room nurse, in fact the Nurse Manager of an Emergency Room, in Portland, Texas, about a 25-minute drive from her home in a small, seaside town called Rockport where Hurricane Harvey made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane.
Carol evacuated her home a day before the hurricane hit, when it was still expected to be a Category 1 hurricane. As the path and force became evident, she left Portland and drove further north to the safety of a hotel in Sequin. All ERs in the area were closed before and in the immediate aftermath of the devastation. But, Carol's ER opened on Monday, the only ER servicing that area that was able to open. Rather than go home to check on her house, Carol, as well as nurses, doctors, clerks and technicians, returned to open their ER with only generator power, no phones, no cell coverage, no air conditioning in stifling heat and humidity -- just the will of those medical professionals to help whoever came through their door. Regardless of whether patients had medical insurance or not, Physician's PremiER treated everyone.
Not only that, her ER became a collection point for humanitarian aid which was then distributed throughout the community to people in need.
Carol was only able to get to her house a few days later, thankfully with another nurse accompanying her so she had someone to lean on if the worst was revealed. And it was.
The entire town is destroyed. Including my sister's home and possessions.
Carol is insured -- wind insurance and flood insurance -- but she only now is finding out the small print of what they cover and what they don't. And that is further devastating to the soul.
Carol is luckier than many in that her fellow staff at Physician's PremiER have helped and supported. Other staff were similarly effected -- few escaped without some damage. Others have lost everything.
When I discussed my idea of setting up a Go Fund Me for Carol, she was very uncomfortable with the idea. But her fellow staff convinced her it might be a good idea to not only help Carol, but to help others who have suffered worse, and who may not have the same support or resources.
So my appeal is for Carol ... and for those she sees in the ER and community who are in need. It is the only way Carol has allowed me to set up a fund -- to not just help her but more importantly, to help those who have no where to turn.
If you are able to contribute, please know your support will go directly to people in need.
If you are unable to contribute, please instead do a kindness to someone in need in your community.
And whether you decide to contribute or not, thank you for taking the time to read and spare a thought for Carol and the people in Texas, the Caribbean Islands, and now Florida.
Carol's sister in Canada
Funds will go directly to supporting victims and may include food, water, medications, shelter, child care, household items, and other items of immediate need.
I will follow-up with stories and/or pictures of those who have been helped.
- Donna & Allan Peacock
- Jeff Richardson
- Ron & Ine Richardson
- Karen Henry
St. Catharines Northwest, ON