ROCHESTER, N.Y. -- Arriving back from Puerto Rico, where potable water remains scarce, eight of the 11 medical volunteers from the University of Rochester Medical Center said that they would be willing to return to volunteer again, if given the opportunity.
In two weeks, they cared for upwards of 150 patients each day, in a medical tent run by a generator. Many people were suffering from dehydration, asthma or injuries sustained from moving debris left by Hurricane Maria. Many on the island are still without power.
"When you think about Houston, when you think about Florida and all the hurricanes that have gone through, do you think people in Houston are still out of power?” asked Aida Santiago, from UR Medicine’s Department of Neurology. “Are they without water? Are they without health care?
"It broke my heart that as Puerto Ricans and citizens that the island is in such detriment, I actually felt ashamed."
Volunteer Luis Rosario-McCabe reconnected with family members whom he hadn't seen in 40 years.
"I spent probably about six hours with them that afternoon,” said Luis Rosario-McCabe, from the UR School of Nursing. “I went into the mountains to see where they came from, and I saw the devastation. Even though everything was destroyed, they still were able to see all the good things that they had."