LATHAM, N.Y. (NEWS10) – A local business has a clinic on the island of St. Thomas, and many of its employees have lost everything they own after Hurricane Irma.
“It’s really bad here in the Virgin Islands,” Krystle Bruney said. “It’s not the place that we used to call paradise.”
Bruney was born and raised on St. Thomas, but the island was devastated by Hurricane Irma.
“The electricity is down,” she explained. “The poles are down in the street. Some of the places are still flooded. A lot of people lost their homes.”
Bruney rode out the storm at her home with her 4-year-old son. The roof has now caved in.
“The spout fell first, and then the roof cracked in two,” she said. “When that happened water started coming in upstairs.”
They made it out safe, but there was nowhere to go. They had to sleep in their car where her son was attacked by mosquitoes.
“If you see his skin now, it’s ridiculous,” she said. “There’s mosquito marks and his legs are all tore up and bruised up.”
With the help of her employer, they’re now staying at a hotel. She works for the Williams Center for Plastic Surgery out of Latham, which has a clinic in St. Thomas.
“About half of them have lost their houses, and all of them are without power,” Dr. Edwin Williams said.
Dr. Williams and Dr. Alain Polynice run the clinic and have gotten close to their employees in St. Thomas.
“It’s a great community, very tight knit community, and they’re in dire need, and we’re in a position to help,” Dr. Polynice said.
The doctors are collecting basic necessities to help their employees get back on their feet.
“It’s just the right thing to do,” Dr. Williams said. “I mean, these are like our family.”
While they wish they could do more, their act of kindness means the world to Bruney.
“I appreciate them for doing that,” she said. “I’m very thankful for that.”
The Williams Center for Plastic Surgery will be collecting donations at its location at 1072 Troy-Schenectady Rd. in Latham.
Collections will take place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, September 16 and Sunday, September 17. They will also be collected from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Monday, September 18 and Tuesday, September 19.
If you’d like to help, they’re most in need of batteries, flashlights and mosquito repellent.
Full list of items needed: