A school bus and ambulance service provided transportation to the dialysis facility. Volunteers provided meals.
Bathrooms were available, but bathing facilities were not. We started on a list of supplies we thought we would need and soon found the person to give that list to. Supplies like a glucose meter, BP cuff, thermometer and bandages began to arrive and one of the Sunday school rooms became the store room.
Another room became a donation center of clothing and personal supplies.
Patients and family members staying in the shelter went to work organizing “the store” so others could go in and “shop” for needed items.
The nights seemed very long. When the lights went out and the shelter was mostly quiet much of the fear and sadness came out. We prayed with some, talked with some and with most just listened. It was nursing and human connection at its most basic level. We took turns making rounds every two hours throughout the night and we became very close to the people living there. They may have felt alone, but they knew they had someone watching over them and someone to talk to, if they needed.
Even harder than going, was leaving. A man who barely spoke to anyone while we were there came up to me the day before we were scheduled to leave and said thank you then wrapped me in the most tender hug I have ever received. The experience in that Baptist church in Mobile, Ala., was the most exhausting and rewarding experience of my life and what motivates me to be a part of the TEEC.
How the TEEC Functions
The TEEC was formed in December 2005 to facilitate the provision of quality care to people with ESRD in the event of an emergency that negatively impacts the delivery of dialysis and transplant services by establishing a collaborative disaster plan. The mission of TEEC is to ensure a coordinated preparedness, plan, response and recovery to emergency events affecting the Texas ESRD community.
TEEC is a voluntary group of ESRD providers, professionals, patients and other state, regional and local agencies, that have an interest in providing the best solutions for continuity of care for ESRD patients during an emergency or disaster situation.
TEEC is comprised of a broad-based stakeholder group with objectives to improve access to alternate care providers during an emergency, develop standardized reporting forms, formulate a plan to assist emergency providers in obtaining treatment-related information on displaced patients during an emergency, facilitate staffing during an emergency and evacuation, and improve current emergency patient education with an emphasis on informing patients of appropriate actions to take when they miss one or more treatments during an emergency.