As I have watched the news this week about Joplin, I keep thinking about the many people that are working to assist fellow citizens during this tragedy. Last Sunday afternoon before the tornado struck, Ryan and I made a visit to our 86 year old farmer friend,Bob, who was a patient at St.John's hospital in Joplin recovering from surgery for a broken leg. Bob's room was on the sixth floor of this eight story structure. We left Joplin at 4:30p.m. When we arrived home at 6 p.m., we learned that Joplin had been struck by the tornado and St. John's hospital took a direct hit. It was early Monday morning before we found out that our friend had made it through the storm and was transferred to a hospital in Pittsburg,Kansas. On Tuesday he was transferred to a rehab facility in Cassville, Missouri to be closer to his home and family.
Ryan went to visit Bob yesterday and listened to his account of how he survived the storm. Bob stated that just minutes before the tornado struck the hospital, the charge nurse ran into his room, threw a blanket and pillow to him and told him to hold onto the chair he was sitting in so she could roll him out into the hall. As she was pushing him toward the door, the pressure from the storm pushed the nurse into Bob as they entered the hallway. Reaching the hallway, Bob grabbed the hand rail on the wall, the nurse and Bob locked arms together and she held her other hand on the rail. The nurse laid over on Bob to shield him as they held on for dear life. As soon as the tornado was gone, emergency workers began to arrive to help assess the situation and begin moving patients to the ground floor. Bob stated that the actions of the nurse saved his life. Two firemen appeared on the sixth floor and carried Bob down six flights of stairs without stopping. Within 30 minutes from the time the storm hit, Bob was on the ground floor waiting to be transferred to the hospital in Pittsburg.
Countless stories are being reported about how people survived this storm. Although we are saddened by those people that lost their lives in this tragic disaster, we appreciate the quick thinking and actions of this young nurse taking care of our friend and the many others just like her that saved many lives. I am very thankful for every person that is assisting the victims and their families in Joplin. Our own community in Arkansas is reaching out and providing assistance through donations of needed items. Many companies such as Walmart and Tyson are donating time,food and personnel to feed emergency workers and victims of the storm and our own dairy cooperative is looking to donate dairy products.
One way you can assist with this disaster is to text "REDCROSS" to 90999 to make a $10 donation to the Red Cross, or visit the special Missouri Tornado and Flood Relief site to donate online. Most of all--pray for all of the communities who have experienced great loss of loved ones and homes and for all those who are assisting these families in a time of great need.