After the news crews leave…
The next time a natural disaster strikes, Michael Cetta says he won’t wait for an email asking for volunteer physicians.
Dr. Cetta, USACS’ chief of integrated acute care, recently went on his first disaster relief after Category 5 Hurricane Dorian hit the Bahamas. He spent seven days at the tiny island in Abaco, Bahamas called Great Guana Cay with Patronus Medical, a private medical group that is the sole provider for the island’s resort.
“The sickest people had already left, so our main purpose was to be there for the people securing and restoring the island, because there was danger everywhere,” said Cetta. “There were only about 100 200 people on the island.”
Cetta spent most of his time putting the medical clinic back into shape. The supplies and medicines were submerged and the facility’s roof was torn off.
“We had to commandeer shelving and lights for the clinic from destroyed homes,” Cetta said.
Cetta noted that three-fourths of the homes are completely uninhabitable, and not even salvageable, as the eye of the hurricane battered the gorgeous seven-mile island with 150-mile hour winds for at least 10 hours.
“Logistically, I can’t understand how they will EVER recover,” he said. “It seems so overwhelming to me but the people there are very positive and confident and have positive attitudes, in spite of what took place. I’ll be very interested to see what happens over the next five to 10 years.”