By Jane Dean, Red Cross Volunteer
We received a call to go and visit Rosalyn and John, who had temporarily evacuated from their home due to Hurricane Harvey. When we arrived, Rosalyn was in her bedroom sitting on her bed. Her husband John began to tell us what happened the day they had to evacuate. The floodwaters came, and although they were luckier than most by having less than a few inches of water flood in their home, their situation was made more complicated due to Rosalyn’s condition. They grabbed what they could and John helped his wife to her wheelchair to get out of the home. In the midst of the hurry, Rosalyn’s medications, that they had gathered and put in a paper bag to take with them, were knocked onto the floor. At some point they realized her medications were missing, and when they were able to return to the home, they discovered the paper bag they had put the medications in was on the floor and saturated with water. The medications were destroyed.
Rosalyn’s condition is such that she needs to take many medications each day, including a specialist medication to keep her well. The Red Cross was able to assist with funds to replace the specialist medication. John showed us Rosalyn’s lower limb prosthesis that was also damaged in the flood. They are hoping to get this repaired as soon as they can. Luckily, Rosalyn has another prosthesis that she can wear in the meantime.
Rosalyn was legally blind, and despite her whole life of complicated medical conditions, she was in fine spirits with an amazing positive outlook on life. Rosalyn and John were extremely grateful to the Red Cross for being able to assist them. They were so surprised that we were volunteers, and that we had taken vacation time from work to come to Houston to help the people affected by Hurricane Harvey. They were grateful to our families and employers for supporting us while we were deployed.
Along with my colleagues Regina and Thuy, I found it a pleasure to be able to help a couple who was doing their very best to take care of themselves.