As Dr. Ricardo Flores, clinical director of the Cancer and Hematology Centers at Texas Children’s Hospital The Woodlands, listened to the news about the devastation in Puerto Rico after the island was slammed with two hurricanes in less than a month, he knew he had to do something to help his homeland.
So, he and some of his friends in the area who are also from Puerto Rico did some research and joined the group, Texas United for Puerto Rico. Within a few days, they had gathered thousands of pound of supplies, including medications, and were sending them to the many people in need on their island.
Word of Flores’ efforts soon reached the City of Houston prompting Mayor Sylvester Turner to call him and ask if he could join forces with the physician. Flores agreed and before long he and a small group of city officials were on a plane to Puerto Rico with 50,000 pounds of supplies in tow.
“It was a titanic effort,” Flores said of the delivery of the supplies, which included medications and food. “Thanks to the community and to the help of so many people, we were able to distribute the entire load.”
Flores said he will continue to work to help his home recover from what he said is an awful situation that has left people without adequate food, water and medication.
“It’s definitely much worse than what people are thinking,” he said. “It’s literally like we went back 100 years in our history in the blink of an eye.”