EUGENE, Ore. – More than two months have passed since Hurricane Maria slammed Puerto Rico and still hundreds of people remain without power and access to clean water.
Maura Egan and Jonas Israel, two Eugene nurses decided to assist one of the affected communities. Monday they will travel to the island to assist local clinics and hospitals in need of some relief.
“We will be working with clinic people doing community assessment of medical needs,” said Egan. “We’ll also be assessing what needs the hospital has in that area and right know we know that they’re just on generator power.”
Jonas said they are preparing for the challenges that come with having no power. He said as health care providers they are heavily dependent on it.
“[Without power] you can’t have antibiotics because the antibiotics go bad, which means that you can’t have surgery, which means you have children that are ill, which means that you can’t take care of these children,” said Israel. “Without power, there are an incredible number of things that you can’t do health wise.”
Egan said a fellow nurse friend who lives in Seattle presented the idea. She said when she and Israel learned about it, they immediately decided to jump on board.
Each will be traveling with 100 pound suitcases filled with all kinds of medical and disaster relief supplies.
She said they have received tremendous support along the way. Egan said she purchased some of the supplies and McKenzie Willamette Medical Center and friends also made significant donations.
Egan said the Alaska Airlines even covered their flight expenses.
“Life turns on a dime and on any given moment this could be us in Earthquake country,” said Egan. ”I think it’s important for people to continuously think of others.”
They said they will return to Eugene December 6th.
“I’m hoping that this trip will shine the light on the people of Puerto Rico,“ Egan said.