Sep 19, 2008

Voices of Ike - Almost endless need

Friday, September 19, 2008 11:24 AM San Antonio pediatrician Rebecca L. Huston, MD, MPH

I have had a very small role in the hurricane volunteer effort so far. I volunteered on Wednesday night at the Kelly shelter. It’s a pretty overwhelming atmosphere. They are set up in a huge warehouse, with the medical station at one end. There were many wonderful nurses and doctors volunteering under trying circumstances. I wish I had brought many things with me. Two of the most useful were hand sanitizer and books from my clinic’s Reach Out and Read program.

Most of the problems I saw were pretty routine: colds, earaches, tummy aches, and headaches. I did what I could, but at least I sent out each child holding a brand new book. The situation felt very similar to Katrina.

For many of the families in the shelter, I sensed almost endless need. Clearly Ike was only one of their many problems. My main hope was to offer a kind word and a listening ear.

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