TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - A group of Toledoans have arrived home from Puerto Rico.
Fifteen doctors, medical students and translators served more than 1,000 survivors of Hurricane Maria at their medical clinic in Yabucoa this past week. For two translators, the trip hit close to home.
WTOL introduced you to Dinellys two weeks ago. She was born and raised in Puerto Rico, and nervous for her family after Hurricane Maria made landfall and destroyed her hometown of Yabucoa. She decided to turn her worry into action.
She joined a team of 15 on a medical mission trip with S.C.O.R.E. or special commission on relief and education.
"I was happy to see my family," said Dinellys Moctezuma. "I was relieved to see they are alive, but seeing everything around my town the houses the trees I was heartbroken. I knew what I was expecting, but seeing it firsthand it makes a difference."
What once was a lush island of vegetation is now brown and dry.
Luis, Dinellys dad, helped organize the logistics of the trip in the town first hit by the category 4 storm, his hometown. He was hopeful they could make a difference.
"In the beginning I said I hope that we can get people because we made this effort to come here," explained Luis Moctezuma. "But I never thought that we were going to give service to over 1,000 people."
The team of six doctors, four medical students, and translators treated issues ranging from broken bones, to heart attacks, blood pressure and even discovered the water was polluted and fixed that.
"I'm forever going to be grateful for them thankful that they came to my town to help my people out, my family and even strangers," said Dinellys. "Everyone is so thankful."
The Moctezuma's describe their five days with S.C.O.R.E. in Puerto Rico as life changing. They say the local's spirit and helpfulness was inspiring.
"We arrived and people would start hugging us, but you can see the faces that I need this, I am suffering this, they were desperate," described Luis. "The last night when we shut down and were cleaning they made a get together for us and they started singing and dancing. You could see their face it was different."
While they are back in Perrysburg now, they say Puerto Rico still needs major help, especially the outskirt communities.
"Puerto Rico needs help, Puerto Rico needs understanding from others," Luis said. "But something that I noticed, most of the people they say, you know what the hurricane can hit us down two times, we're going to stand up three times. So, they say we are alive and that's what matters. We're going to come back again, we're going to be okay."
Both Dinellys and Luis encourage you to get involved to help Puerto Ricans however you can.