She is RN with over 45 years of experience in nursing. She has worked at St. John’s in Fargo, ND, then the VA hospital ICU in Fargo, ND before she moved to the Florida Keys just about 20 years ago to work in the ER at Mariner’s primarily and Fisherman’s when needed.
My mom and stepdad as well as my youngest brother lost quite a bit during Hurricane Irma. They lost their home, a car, family photos, memories, and so much more. Thankfully, we all still have one another.
You can see the water line clearly. And this is just the water line on the inside. The water was at that height for 9 hours before it began to slowly drain out of the house.
My mom continues to work full time because as any ER nurse will tell you, there will always be another patient coming through the door. Patients coming in the ER aren’t in any position to worry if the nurse has had enough sleep, if the nurse has a home to sleep in that day, if the nurse has even gone to the bathroom since they came on shift. The ER nurse is all about taking care of the patient. The nurses’ home life is put on hold when she/he comes on shift.
My mom is one of the best ER nurses I know to this day. Not because she is my mom but because she works hard to take care of each and every patient, work with any doctor on staff, works doubles when necessary, makes critical- life dependent decisions immediately without hesitation but because she does it without consideration for herself. My mom is one of the most dedicated nurses. She is constantly educating herself on the best patient care, hospital protocol, and employee staffing needs. She works hard to make sure everyone from patient to co-worker to administration has what he or she needs to live a better day.
If you are a nurse or know a nurse then you know this sounds very familiar. This is the life of a nurse.
But what about when a nurse suffers? What do we do? We work together to help that nurse because we know at the end of the day she will be working to save a mother, a father, a child, a friend or someone who doesn’t have anyone. We know that if her basic needs are met she will not be there to just work and collect a paycheck; she will be there to help care for each patient as if they were her family.
My parents need a home for her family. They need a structurally safe home for themselves, their last son to live while he finishes college, and for their family pets; Sammy (the adopted Australian Shepherd from the pound), Pepe and Link (two ornery cats), and BunBun (the bunny found by my sister on the side of the road).
Her working conditions are less than ideal right now. She has had to do more than conventional ER nursing. Fisherman’s Hospital is currently unfit for patients so they are operating out of storage containers, sheds, and even tents. She works days at one hospital to help with the staffing shortage and the other one is her main place of work at nights. Her shifts are 12 hours on the clock. Many days have had extra hours inadvertently due to Hurricane Irma. So far she has had less than 5 days off since the reopening of Mariners and the makeshift hospital Fisherman’s.
The last two pics are what my mom has done to fix the condensation leaking in their patient/lab room. Nurses do more than patient care, some like my mom fix what needs to be fixed in a MASH tent environment.
As of October 21st she and my stepdad will not have a place to stay. The Baptist Hospital arranged for her and my stepdad to stay at the Marriot in Marathon, Florida until the 16th and then the hotel graciously extended her stay time until October 21st but then Marriot will need the room back for tourists paying full price. A huge thank you to Baptist Hospital. Not every work place takes the time and money to help their employees!!
Please help us help them. We are working hard to raise enough money to purchase a travel trailer to live in or rent a place if possible. The Keys has suffered quite a bit of damage, 25% of the homes are destroyed. There is a limited amount of space available for campers and the city will not allow some homeowners to place the trailers on their property due to the dangers and insurance complications.
As of yesterday, my parents enlisted a private insurance adjuster to take on their case due to the difficulty with insurance, FEMA, and city codes. Monroe County and the City of Marathon deem their home as unsafe and unfit to live, ever! FEMA says their home could be made livable. What the hell is livable? And their own insurance company still hasn’t even been to their home. Hello! It is October 11th! That is a month of waiting and hanging in the air without a plan.
Thank you to everyone who has donated their hard earned money to assist them. Thank you to all those who continue to pray and support them emotionally with phone calls and emails. Thank you to all you who spread the campaign on your Facebook, Twitter, emails and more. Please keep them in your thoughts and I will keep you up to date as well as I can. God bless them, all the nurses, all the volunteers, and everyone who has taken the time to read this. Take care.
Part of the Original Campaign Story with details of needs and how the money will be spent and transferred to my mom.
The end result is their home of 20+ years is not salvageable or at the very best it will need a complete gut job. No telling how long before Donnalee Quarberg and Wayne Quarberg will know exactly which course of action the insurance company will choose. That’s because there is restricted access from MM72 and south to as far as Mom and Dad’s home across from the airport at MM52 on the devastated ocean side.
She is a busy volunteer: at work, on mission trips inside and outside the U.S., teaching Sunday School, stopping to check on patients from the nights past, babysitting family babies and friends’ babies at last notice.
Then there is my stepdad, Wayne. Half the time he is giving his inventory away because he can’t bear to see anyone short of what they need. He is known for giving the shop away to many of the first responders. I would say he is just that way since our brother is a Florida Fireman, but he has always been that way with those that serve in the military or any facility of emergency.
These two need to stay in the Keys to help others. It is what they do. My mother has always lived a life as Mother Theresa described:
“The greatest good we do we do for others.” It is not surprising that the two of them work hard to attain a life that allows them to give without thought to their own needs. But they need to prepare to clean up their own homestead. They need help to do it. There are many needs that will take some time.
GREATEST NEED: SHELTER!
Having a place to live in for several months while they rebuild, repair, and replace almost everything is a necessity. I have located several travel trailers/toy trailers that would suffice and are located outside Irma's path. Prices range from $8,000 to as much as $20,000. I know my mom is frugal so we will find a good one priced fairly on the lower end.
Chainsaw, Water Pressure Washer, Water, Food, Bleach and more Bleach, Vinegar, Hand Sanitizer, Rent of Heavy Earth Moving Equipment to clear the debris.
On Going Needs:
Toilet Paper, Paper Towels, Garbage Bags, Commercial Size Garbage Cans, Dog food, Batteries, etc.
Instead of paying the shipping cost – and possibly giving them duplicate items – I would like to ask you to consider GoFundMe for Donnalee and Wayne. They will then have access to money that will be used to take care of these needs. My parents are the type of people who share what they have so you can bet they will share shelter, food, water, etc. with other locals in the area.
If 500 people were to gift them $50 for SHELTER (travel trailer), supplies, truckloads of debris removed surrounding their home and the expenses of clearing their home, WE WOULD RAISE $25,000! Imagine how that would help them help others as well as themselves!!! A safe place to sleep, cook, bathe, and a place to safeguard what few possessions they have left. Please remember: they have nothing more than what they packed into the truck.
Consider these words as you ponder how to help my mom, Donnalee:
“The bricks have fallen, but we will build with dressed stones; the sycamores have been cut down, but we will put cedars in their place.” Isaiah 9:10
“We cannot help everyone, but everyone can help someone.” Ronald Reagan
“So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.” Galatians 6:10
And thank you, thank you, thank you to all who can help even just a little bit! From all of us to you God Bless!April Duckwitz Kalber will be handling the administrative aspect of the funds at the directions of my mother Donnalee (Donna) Duckwitz Quarberg.
Donnalee Duckwitz Quarberg and her granddaugher Kaylee Duckwitz the beneficiaries, in the event something happens to me. My mother Donnalee was instrumental during the birth of her granddaughter (my daughter) back in 1999 in Key West. This was during the time we all lived there just blocks away from my family's home.
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