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Houston VA Medical Team Treating Around the Clock
by SreyRam Kuv, MD, Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center
Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Houston, August 30Below is a first person account written by SreyRam Kuy, MD, Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center.  She has been at Houston VA since the beginning of the flood sleeping in her office.  

“The impact of Hurricane Harvey and the Houston flooding is enormous and the stories of courage and resilience are incredible.  Here at the Houston VA, we’re sheltering homeless veterans in addition to caring for the medical needs of veterans and anyone else who walks in the doors, and doing so with amazing staff. 

We have had nearly 700 staff staying onsite, sleeping on the floors and if their lucky, tiny cots, in the auditoriums and offices, to make sure we have the clinical and operational manpower to keep the hospital running. 

As I rounded on the different units, checking on the medical wards, surgical wards, ICU, ER, dialysis units, I see how much it takes to provide care for patients during a disaster.  Some of our staff have been here in the hospital for 6 days straight.   I’m amazed by how strong these people are.  Some of them have no idea if their homes are affected, others already have watched on the news footage of their flooded neighborhoods, and many have children and elderly parents at home, that they worry about while caring for these critically ill veterans.  One of our nurse’s husband drove 12 hours through flooded streets, in order to enable her to stay here and take care of patients. 

And the veterans themselves amaze me with their stories.  One man, a former army ranger, swam through flood waters to come to the Houston VA hospital, because he knew that no matter what - the VA would be there to care for him.  When he got here, we took care of his ruptured appendicitis.  It’s a privilege to care for our nation’s heroes, and it’s humbling to know that they feel they can count on us to be there.  That’s why we’re here.”

Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center is open for emergent medical care, and staff are working to ensure we remain open for our veterans who need us.  Because of flooding, patient and staff safety is the utmost priority.  To date, the VA medical center is taking care of close to 400 inpatients.

Remembering Jim Guidry GRCC M3 Global Medical Missions

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