PRESTONSBURG, KY. (FOX 56) — Rescuers aren’t the only ones answering the call to help. Health care workers are putting in long hours to care for those in need. They’re traveling from all over the country to eastern Kentucky.
Gladys Anokam, a Maryland resident, drove to Prestonsburg, Kentucky to work as a nurse at Highlands ARH Regional Medical Center. She’s been a nurse for more than 35 years and a travel nurse for two years. She’s in Floyd county for at least 13 weeks.
When Anokam signed the nursing contract, the hospital was already short-staffed. Last week’s flooding is making things worse. She said several staff members lost their own homes, but they can’t focus on what they’ve lost with so much on their plates at work.
Anokam said she helps an average of five to seven patients each 12-hour shift. For some, it’s too much, and she’s seen one nurse quit already. However, Anokam is pushing forward, and through all the devastation, her motivation is God’s message.
“One thing the bible says is love your neighbor like you love yourself, ” said Anokam. “I find nursing a way to give back to people and take care of people.”
While Anokam is taking care of her patients, they’re looking out for her as well. She is struggling to find housing after the storms.
Prestonsburg already had limited housing options, and last week’s flooding is making the search more difficult. The room Anokam was originally planning to rent flooded, so right now she has no permanent place to stay. She’s sleeping at a hotel in the meantime, which is costing her a pretty penny.
During her shifts, Anokam is asking her patients for housing help, but no luck. Still, she is hopeful a spot will open up.
“As long as I can sleep without somebody bothering me, and as long as I am safe, I am happy,” said Anokam.
A short wish list, but Anokam also wants to find a furnished place within a 10-minute drive of the hospital.