For some impacted by Hurricane Harvey, tragedy struck in a rush as floodwaters inundated their homes. For Aqueasha Green, a scheduler at Baylor’s Infusion Center, disaster spread over four days, damaging a car, caving in her roof and soaking her home. But it did nothing to dampen her drive to help Baylor patients.
Despite the personal loss she experienced, when Baylor reopened after the storm on Wednesday, Aug. 30, Green was there to make sure patients’ needs were met.
“My home is my first home; Baylor is my second home. I felt like I had my first home somewhat under control so my instinct was to go take care of my second home. There are patients who need chemotherapy to live. When a message was sent to find out who would be able to make it to work, my instincts kicked in and I said I’ll come.”
Green spent Wednesday contacting and rescheduling patients in preparation for the Infusion Center and other Baylor clinics reopening the following day. She said that patients were a little bit surprised the clinic would reopen so quickly, and very grateful.
Green has worked at Baylor for four and half years, and has been a scheduler with the Infusion Center since December 2016.
“I love being in the infusion center,” she said. “I’m hands on with the patients, not just on the phone, and I like that patient interaction. I like helping them, talking to them, giving them a little encouragement. I give out blankets, or water or favorite snacks – whatever they may need.”
Green downplayed her situation on the home front but, in fact, she suffered extensive damage to her house near State Highway 288 and Airport where she rode out Harvey with her family, including three daughters and two grandchildren. The weather turned dangerous on Saturday, Aug. 26, when Hurricane Harvey spawned rain, winds and possible tornadoes. A loud boom rocked the house, and her daughter ran into her room, terrified. They huddled in a closet, and when they emerged they found that a tree had fallen on top of their car and part of the roof, and water was pouring from the ceiling in a hallway and bathroom.
Green used buckets and towels to keep the water at bay and waited for the storm to slack off. A reprieve came, but it was short lived. The next day, Sunday, additional rain flooded her backyard, seeping into the back of her house. She and a neighbor dug out a trench in the yard to alleviate the flooding. The next day, another tree fell and on Tuesday, just when it seemed the storm was waning, the ceiling in her daughter’s bedroom caved in.
In the end, she ended up losing a car and some furniture, and she’ll likely need a new roof, new sheetrock and paint and possibly flooring.
“Just as I thought I had things under control, something else would happen,” Green recalled. “It was a circus. But my heart goes out to people who lost everything. Some people had it much worse.”
Dr. Mothaffar Rimawi, associate professor director of the Lester and Sue Smith Breast Center within the Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center, said Green’s composure was amazing. She admits the storm has left her with a lot to deal with, but she’s grateful her family is safe and is happy she was able to help Baylor patients.
-By Dana Benson