On Wednesday, Roy Key was in too much pain to pick up the phone.
He resides in Fort Myers, Florida, which was devastated by Hurricane Ian a week prior, flooding houses, cutting off electricity and sewerage, and damaging water lines.
Key, an 87-year-old veteran of the U.S. Air Force, uses morphine to manage the pain associated with his broken hip and fractured femur, which were caused by an accident in July, as well as an old shoulder ailment from his time in the military. However, the Lee County Veterans Affairs clinic, where he often receives care, was seriously damaged by the hurricane and is now closed.
Key and his wife, Sara, were compelled to deal with VA healthcare systems that they otherwise would not have had to.
After the storm, according to Sara, she was unable to reach Roy’s physician, and as a result, Roy “missed two of the most vital prescriptions he takes.” Pregabalin is the second drug prescribed for nerve pain.
Sara claimed that Roy was “rocking with anguish” by Wednesday. He may experience withdrawal if he went for a lengthy period without morphine.
Almost every aspect of everyday life was completely upended for many Lee County residents, much like the Keys. More than 134,000 houses and businesses were still without electricity as of Friday, even though the Keys’ power had been restored on Wednesday.
The hurricane caused at least 128 deaths in Florida. According to the Florida Medical Examiners Commission, the majority of the fatalities were due to drowning, although a few persons also perished from a lack of access to emergency medical care.
Running water was unavailable to at least nine hospitals last week, but it has already been restored. Three hospitals in the counties of Lee and Charlotte had to shut down and evacuate patients, said Mary Mayhew, CEO of the Florida Hospital Association. One is still shut.
Many hospitals are also dealing with an inflow of new patients who were hurt or whose medical conditions deteriorated as a result of the hurricane. Additionally, there are personnel issues.