South Florida doctors travel to Puerto Rico to help children after hurricane

By Layron Livingston - Reporter

MIAMI - More relief is on the way for Hurricane Maria victims as a group of South Florida doctors flew to San Juan Tuesday on a charter flight.

"(I brought) tissues in my bag because I know I'm going to get really emotional," pediatric infectious disease Dr. Delia Rivera-Hernandez said. "I approach this with a lot of trepidation."

Rivera Hernandez is from Puerto Rico. 

"I have seen pictures and they are heartbreaking. I still have my family there," she said. 

Rivera Hernandez is one of six doctors from the University of Miami's School of Medicine and Holtz Children's Hospital who traveled to San Juan for the day to help their colleagues on the ground help children in need.

"This is really about an assessment," Dr. Judy Schaechter said. "Some of the people who trained in their fellowships and residencies at UM and Jackson Memorial are now there and taking care of patients there, so they immediately texted us in terms of what was happening and what the needs were."

Back on the ground, a roundtable of community members are helping coordinate relief efforts in South Florida.

Tuesday's focus is finding resources and funding to not only continue sending help to the island, but also ease the transition for families who have and will continue to evacuate to South Florida.

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