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Hurricane Katrina Relief: Enoch Choi’s experience

October 28th, 2005 · 1 Comment

While we were relaxing on vacation the first week of October, my friend from college, physician and blogger Enoch Choi, was working to help survivors of Hurricane Katrina in Louisiana. I was surprised and amazed that he was able to post from his locations. Reading his descriptions of his days as I sat in bed each night, I became more grateful for what I had and more aware of what was happening after the hurricane, the health needs, heartaches and hope.

To read Enoch’s New Orleans posts start here and go forward.

On October 5th, he wrote

Today, the team reached a truly devastated area. St. Bernard parish is unbelievably destroyed. People walk into clinic wearing boots covered with muck up over their ankles. Their stories are heartbreaking, many say they came back today just to collect anything they could and they’ll never return. Some say they’ve been here for generations, since the 1700’s when they settled the parish, but they’ll still never come back. They don’t trust the levies to be rebuild strong enough to ever protect them.

The patients are shellshocked, such a contrast to the perky energy of the PRC Compassion teen volunteers. They’re so energetic, seeing them set up the food distribution depot yesterday was really inspiring and their faith uplifing in all of this squalor.

Patients we’re seeing have dermatitis, conjunctivitis, bronchitis, pneumonia, COPD exacerbations, cellulitis, lacerations, and sprains. In 3 hours we saw 55 patients and administered many tetanus immunizations, gave out antibiotics, let patients breathe in albuterol nebulized, gave much pastoral care and MFTs counseling. It’s great to be here and be of such help, it’s such an honor to hear their stories and care for their wounds…

In addition to his own thoughts and observations, Enoch has been posting what others from his team have said including Eleanor’s recollections. It’s an intense letter.

People were so touched that someone cared enough about them to write a personal message and to send a medical team, that they were visibly moved, some to tears. The survivors needed to talk and process their experiences, so I spent hours listening to the stories of these people who have lost everything. They said again and again that they wanted us to look at their community and tell our friends back home what we saw. They encouraged us to drive around and look into the empty houses and buildings. They want the word to get out so they won’t be forgotten.

This past weekend Enoch presented his experience for TechCrunch3. Dave Winer described it as a geek story:

People who come to open events are true web people — there’s no difference between 1.0 or 2.0 — it’s a constant. You come, like Enoch Choi, to share his story of helping people in a destroyed city (it’s a geek story, surprisingly, and a smart one).

I don’t often write about the ways we spend our money as a family or mention the gifts we make to others. However, Ted and I realized a few weeks ago that in the busyness of our fall schedule and travels, we had not yet gotten around to making a donation to help with Hurricane Katrina relief. What better way to give, than to give to someone we know and trust, someone who had shared his experience with us. If you, like us, have not yet been able to make a gift to help with the hurricane relief efforts, please read the links above and consider giving to Enoch’s team.

Donations for Enoch’s team can be sent to:

Menlo Park Presbyterian Church

950 Santa Cruz Ave

Menlo Park, CA 94025

Make sure it is clearly earmarked for the
Katrina Relief Fund.

Thanks to Enoch and his team, and many others, for going and giving all they had to help. And thanks, Enoch, for sharing your
geek story with us in your blog so we can see through your eyes.

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1 response so far ↓

  • 1 enoch choi // Oct 28, 2005 at 1:04 am

    Julie, this is so sweet. Thanks for your support. It was a wonderful trip, and i hope to return for a week in another month or 2. Just 2 days ago another one of our college buddies, Bobby Jindal took my call and helped keep out of state MDs volunteering in LA by convincing the governor to extend the emergency order. It takes all the help we can muster, and the people appreciate it so much…

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