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Sparrowbush Nurse Helps Out Hurricane Harvey Victims

Kimberlee Dean
Kimberlee Dean Photo Credit: Contributed

SPARROWBUSH, N.Y. -- When Kimberlee Dean was flying to Houston to help out after Hurricane Harvey, she had no idea what to expect.

Dean, a Sparrowbush nurse who works for Orange County Regional Medical Center, had volunteered to go to Houston and help out. On a Wednesday night, she received an e-mail telling her to be at Teterboro Airport in 12 hours. She asked her co-workers if they would cover her shift and her boss if she could go.

"She told me to just let me know when you're getting back," Dean said. "It doesn't get any better than that."

Dean was one of 50 nurses who went to Houston to help out and fondly looks back on her experience.

"It's one of the best things I could've done," Dean said. "The people in Texas are amazing. They are so friendly."

In Houston, Dean worked in the ER and also helped people clean up after their homes were devastated.

"That was the hardest thing," Dean said. "These people worked so hard for everything and now they have nothing."

On one street, all the houses on one side were spared while the houses on the other side were destroyed.

"It was surreal," Dean said.

Dean said the people of Houston didn't have time to prepare for the hurricane.

"It wasn't supposed to be this bad," Dean said. "I can't imagine that happening to me."

Since coming back from Houston, Dean said she is more appreciative of the things she has.

"It made me take a step back and realize the things I am stressed about are not that important," Dean said. "It's helped me to put things in perspective."

Dean said she is going back to Texas in March to visit with the family that fostered her during her stay.

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