Maumee doctor prepares for second trip to Puerto Rico

TOLEDO, Oh (WTVG) - "It's a Thanksgiving medical relief mission;" one that Dr. Richard Paat says is desperately needed after Hurricane Maria destroyed homes and villages in Puerto Rico.

Photo: DoD

Almost exactly two months ago, the category 5 storm pummeled the island. Today, people are still without power and clean water.

"Puerto Rico isn't first page or second page [news] anymore, but it's still out there," Dr. Paat said. "You may not hear about is as much, but the people are just suffering so much."

Early Wednesday morning, Paat and a team of nine other medical professionals will be on a plane. Their final destination: Yabucoa, Puerto Rico, the first city to get hit by Maria.

"We're going to meet up with medical students from Puerto Rico to run another clinic," Byron Wynn, a medical translator going on the trip said.

Team members expect to see a lot of what they say during their fist trip back in September. Doctors were able to treat around 1,000 patients.

"Everything from heart attacks to fractures to asthma," Dr. Paat said. "We expect to see more because they've gone an extra two months without medical care."

As the team prepares to spend Thanksgiving giving back, Dr. Paat has an important reminder:

"Be thankful for what you have. Be thankful that we have electricity, that we have water we can drink and be thankful that we have a roof over our head."