Merced doctor finally home after spending weeks helping hurricane victims

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- As deadly hurricanes demolished parts of the country, Marianne Shaw says she did not waste any time to help victims.

"'They're at their worst. There's not much lower they can be right now--no food, no water, no electricity."

Shaw returned home to Merced on Tuesday after spending weeks helping victims of both Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Maria recover.

As a respiratory therapist, and member of a National Disaster Medical Assistance team, she was sent to Texas to provide medical help.

Shortly after, the federal assistance group was sent to Puerto Rico after the island's government asked for their help.

"It'd have been less than a month when we landed in Puerto Rico, and some of them had not received medical care during that time--so we're their hope, we're their salvation," said Shaw.

Shaw says they sent up a tent in one of the harder hit areas on the island. She saw about 50 patients during each of her 12-hour shifts.

"We're seeing the illnesses that you would see typically when you haven't had medical care, or when you haven't had power or water for some time."

In the midst of flooding, debris, and leveled neighborhoods--Shaw says their group were able to offer a glimmer of hope.

"Many hugs, many thank you. We had a small child who came in for stitches. She came back in and was full of smiles and thank you,"

So far, more than 45 people have died in Puerto Rico and Shaw says the group's mission is far from over.

She says thousands of people from her assistance group are still helping victims while Puerto Rico rebuilds.
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