To my blog readers:

I had planned on sending a blog to you about surgical leadership this week…but couldn’t.  You see, my family lives in Houston.  My mom, stepdad, brother, sister-in-law and nephew…are all there.  I have been feeling both distracted and helpless all week as I, like you, have been watching the almost unbelievable images of the flooding, the people, and the devastating loss.

I’m grateful to report that my family are all safe and dry.  My sister-in-law has just made it home to minimal water damage after caring for patients and sleeping in her hospital for days where she works as a Patient Care Technician.

So this blog is one of thanks-and the following are my brother’s words.

“I would like to take a moment to thank everyone who gives so much of themselves at times like this:

Our first responders. Firefighters, police officers, EMT’s, National Guard,  etc. You respond ready to work ridiculously long shifts rescuing people in impossible conditions. You are true heroes and I want to thank you on behalf of our community.

I also want to thank those who volunteer. Regardless if you help rescue people, volunteer at shelters, etc. know that your work is so needed and appreciated.

I want to thank those, like my wife who work in hospitals and care centers. You report for duty ready to work for days, sleeping on cots between to take care of your patients who cannot take care of themselves.

I want to thank the utility workers who hit the ground running to get the power back on before the bad weather ends, enduring long shifts in the process.

I want to thank the security people who also volunteer to go to work prepared to be there for days until conditions improve, also sleeping on cots or on the floor in between shifts to protect people and property.

May God bless all of you. Your dedication and sacrifice are appreciated even if we don’t say it nearly enough.”

I am reminded of the quote by Fred Rogers during times like these:

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.”

I know that this blog is being read by people who by choice-help.  You help every day, and especially during times of crisis, because of who you are.  With that said,  I add my thanks-to those of you and anyone who is helping during this horrible event…from the care professionals who are sleeping at work, to the “Cajun Navy” who lined up with their boats to go into the flooded waters of Houston with no agenda other than to help, and  all those providing physical and emotional support to the countless who have lost some or all.  My heart is both broken for the unimaginable losses, and full to witness the good in those who are providing assistance.  I also want to add my sincere condolences to those suffering.  I can only hope that you find the strength and support to take the next step toward rebuilding.  I hope you have some small sense of comfort from witnessing all those who have come to help.

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