Hurricane Harvey
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Hurricane Harvey: Still Claiming Lives

Veteran News
Veteran News
October 30, 2017
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It's been more than 2 months since Hurricane Harvey made landfall. The enormous category 4 hurricane obliterated huge swaths of southeast Texas with flooding and wind damage, the likes of which had never been seen before. During the storm, Texans banded together forming one of the largest if not the largest ever rescue/rebuilding effort by private citizens. The phrase "Texas Strong" really came to show how real it was during the combined efforts, referencing the resolve of Texans to help their neighbor and not rely on the government to help them--after all, it is Texas!

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People like 31-year-old Josue Zurita volunteered their time and risked not only money, but also their health to extend a helping hand. Josue was a carpenter who left Mexico to provide a better life for his family, to live the American dream. That dream, unfortunately, would be cut short. While working on a house during rebuilding, Josue got a cut on his upper left arm. Josue continued to work. Small cuts and knicks would not slow down the man who had dedicated his life to helping his family and others. On October 10th, Josue would be admitted to the hospital as the wound had become seriously infected. It was determined that the infection was indeed Necrotizing Fasciitis (NF).

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Without going into too much detail, the bacteria basically uses human tissue as food. It reproduces and spreads extremely fast. Without debridement of the tissue and treatment with antibiotics, it is always fatal, causing organ failure and toxic shock syndrome. Josue was no exception, the infection had spread too far and by the time he was admitted to the hospital, it was already too late.

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Josue had a servants heart. He led by example and will be remembered for his love of people. "He has a lot of friends here in Galveston that love him. Everybody is very sad. He was very young and always smiling," said Brenda Avalos, the wife of Josue's cousin. With little regard for his own safety and a desire to help others, Josue, although not known to many, is a hero to us. Our heartfelt sympathy goes out to the family and neighbors who are without their hero.If you suspect you may have come into contact with any sort of bloodborne pathogen while working during Harvey or other disaster areas, please immediately seek out professional medical care. We can't afford to lose any more of our selfless heroes.

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