Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Lorna's Story

Everyday my teammates and I travel the streets of Tacloban on our way to the eye clinic. We witness first hand the devastation left behind from Typhoon Haiyan.   Many of them describe it as a "war zone" that we see only in the movies.   

Yes,  this is like a war zone devastated by a very powerful enemy - Yolanda.

 Most of today I spent in registration which would best be described as the "front line".

This is where we first get to meet our patients who have lined up for hours, some have waited before midnight and others have traveled for miles to receive free eye care and eyeglasses from the TWECS team and our 15,000 eyeglasses.

This, the front line in registration, was where I met Lorna.

This frail lady was wandering around the grounds of the Tacloban City Hospital with three young children just watching and clinging to her.   Late in the day after registration was closed,  I went over to talk to her.  She hadn't lined up during the clinic, she just watched from a safe distance. 
This is where Lorna's story begins.
 It was November 8th, 2013. 

All of the family was home together, Lorna, her husband and five children seemingly protected from the high winds of the typhoon.   Then within moments their family was destroyed as Yolanda took over.  Four year old Samantha who was sitting at the kitchen table watching her father cooking a meal got swept away so quickly and disappeared forever. 

13 year old Matthew bolted to the second floor carrying his 6 year old sister ... and ended up saving her life.  Lorna grabbed onto 5 year old Noel and struggled against the pull of the black water up the stairs to safety.  Lorna prayed that her husband and her other 2 children were safe.

 Sadly, 4 year old Samantha and her 11 year old brother James, did not survive and were never found.
Tragically these victims were  just two of the estimated 20,000 people to lose their lives that day.

Brenda Tosoff

1 comment:

  1. So very sad, this makes one realize how we should appreciate what we all have each and every day.