Linda Hill, CRNA, DNSc, APN, Associate Professor/Coordinator, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga/Erlanger Health Systems is a new faculty member who moved recently from Arlington, outside of Memphis. Her husband, Brett, an Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, is still taking care of details in Arlington, so Linda joined him there Labor Day weekend.
On Saturday morning, Brett received a call from the American Red Cross chapter in Memphis. They desperately needed medical help. The Chapter was functioning as a processing center for evacuees who had either made it to the Memphis area on their own or were being transported in from other evacuation centers.
“They were expecting about 500 to 800 folks. Instead, there were almost 1,800 people standing in lines to get food, clothing, shelter, etc. Of course, many of the people had lost their prescription medications, were diabetics, hypertensives, elderly, children etc. who had gone without their medicines and had not eaten properly for days. They needed a triage area to assess the immediate medical needs of these people,” Linda said.
Linda’s husband responded immediately, and Linda joined him the following day.
“We spent the day doing medical evaluations and just listening and crying with these people. Sometimes, all they needed to was for someone to listen to their story. We recruited other nurse practitioners, my sister included, and they all showed up on Sunday. The stories were heart wrenching. We worked again on Monday. I flew back to Chattanooga on Tuesday morning. However, my husband and sister continued to volunteer their time at the Red Cross throughout that week and following weekend,” Linda said.Linda said she was really touched by the compassion and caring that was shown by all the volunteers who showed up at the Red Cross. “People were walking into the center asking, ‘What can I do to help?, I’ll do anything.’ So there were people working the hot food lines, folks manning the food store, people directing traffic, etc. The outpouring of love for our fellow humans was astounding. It made me very proud and also extremely thankful for what I do have.”
September 23, 2005