On April 29, a string of tornadoes ravaged East Texas, left four people dead and scores more injured. Texas Governor Greg Abbott described the damage as “just large swath after large swath of devastation.”
As survivor stories emerged, volunteers brought chainsaws and tractors to clear roads and trees. One EF3 tornado with winds up to 165 miles an hour swept through Emory, Texas. Homes were destroyed and a popular Catholic Church was crushed. A subdivision called the Bear Creek Edition was hammered particularly hard.
On May 4, one homeowner faced with an overwhelming amount of damage of what was left of his home. It would appear this helpless homeowner would be left with a Herculean cleanup on his own. That is until a group of caring CHRISTUS Mother Frances Hospital-Sulphur Springs Associates showed up and asked if they could help.
“I got the impression our Associates were a Godsend to him,” said Brent Smith, EMS Director for Hopkins County EMS.
As CHRISTUS Associates, this group works daily to relieve the pain and suffering of their patients inside the walls of their community hospital. But on Thursday they ventured outside the sterile settings of operating rooms, clinical hallways and patient rooms. They drove about half an hour away to see how they could help their neighbors, and ended up using their hands to still help and heal others, but on this day they offered up their compassionate services in a very different way.
Volunteers from CHRISTUS Mother Frances Hospital-Sulphur Springs included:
Keith Kelley – OR Director, Kala Anders – ER Nurse, Brynn Smith – OB Nurse, Lisa Reel – Med-Surg Nurse, Ben Pegues – ICU / Infection Control RN, Stoney Jacobs – BioMed, Tommy Faulknor – EMS & Security, Neal Adams – EMS, Jeff Sanderson – EMS, Makayla Davis – ER Hospitality
At the flagship CHRISTUS Trinity Mother Frances campus in Tyler, Associates treated 10 patients as a result of the tornadoes. None were critically injured. The HealthPark – Canton was closed for several days as a result of a power loss. Power was restored Mon., May 1 and the facility is back up and running. In the meantime, Associates continue to work to comfort those impacted by the severe weather in not just Emory, but also in Canton, Eustance and other surrounding areas.
CHRISTUS Trinity Mother Frances Health System set up a website at christustmf.org/prayforcanton. It is a place where CHRISTUS Associates and the public can learn more about donating to relief efforts. Many donations have already come in as the CHRISTUS community continues to respond to the call for help with time, skills and compassion.