MAYFLOWER — The Monday morning after a deadly tornado swept through Faulkner County, the doctors of Mayflower Medical Clinic wanted to get to the clinic as soon as they could, said Dr. Blair Greenwood, MD, at Mayflower Medical Clinic off Highway 365. “This clinic is our family,” Greenwood said.
After Greenwood and LPN Angela Foster convinced the National Guard to let them through the city, they arrived at the clinic, which had no power and no running water due to surrounding tornado damage the night before.
Foster loaded her truck with all the supplies it could handle and drove toward the devastated areas of the county, she said.
With 26 years of experience in Army medical command, Foster said nothing could have prepared her for seeing that type of destruction.
“To see that type of destruction and know it’s someone you know,” she said, “nothing prepares you for that.”
When the doctors arrived in Queens Manor, they went door to door looking for people—checking for patients, Greenwood said.
“So many of our patients were so happy to see us out there,” she said.
In the field, the doctors gave countless tetanus shots, treated puncture wounds through shoes and boots, stabilized high blood pressure and delivered essential, life-sustaining supplies like insulin and oxygen.
Back at the clinic, the staff had to open the doors and windows and use flash lights to treat patients. The back break room was used as a triage area where wounds were treated and tetanus shots were given.
By Tuesday the power and water were back on, and the only medical facility on the ground was the Mayflower Medical Clinic, Foster said. The clinic sits about a mile and a half from the path of the tornado.
As the week went on and the people of Mayflower were beginning to come out of the initial shock, Greenwood said, they realized they lost all their essential, life-sustaining medications in the tornado.
The APN and MD called all the drug reps they knew who brought them extra medications, inhalers and insulin for patients in need. Apex Medical Rentals, Aerocare Oxygen and Baker Drug Store and Pharmacy were among the many who answered the clinic’s call.
The entire staff is helping to get necessary medications to patients in need, Greenwood said.
“When patients call, we find out what they need and we work together as a clinic because we all love our patients,” she said.
The staff includes Penny Jackson, LPN, who accompanied Foster to disaster areas on Monday, Lynn Tindall, LPN, Rachel Mayfield, medical assistant, and Donna Hammerle, senior office coordinator.
The weekend following the tornado, Greenwood spent time volunteering with Samaritan’s Purse.
“It felt better to get my hands dirty,” she said. “You can only cry for so long. There’s something about dragging debris and physical labor that makes you feel better.”
The doctors said they anticipate seeing patients come in with respiratory problems from all the gas fumes and pollen, muscle pains from volunteers and psychological issues such as anxiety as families begin clearing their properties of debris.
The Mayflower Medical Clinic is open to any and all through the clean-up process, Foster said, you don’t have to be an established patient.
The clinic is located at 587 Hwy 365 in Mayflower and can be reached at 501-470-7413.