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Volunteer Doctors, Nurses Reach Out To Sandy Victims

Volunteer Nurses

Volunteer nurses and doctors have been reaching out to victims of Superstorm Sandy on Staten Island. (Credit: CBS 2)

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Superstorm Sandy

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Some local medical professionals were on a mission Sunday night, trying to help Sandy victims who have become so busy in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy that they have not taken care of some basic needs.

As CBS 2’s Drew Levinson reported, volunteer nurses on Sunday fanned across hard-hit Oakwood Beach, Staten Island, going house-to-house to help the many people in need of medical care.

Dr. Neil Nepola grew up in Oakwood Beach, and he still lives and practices there.

“We felt that there was a lacking of direct medical care. There was no boots-on-the-street type of treatment in place,” he said.

Many residents of the area lost everything, including their prescriptions. Some were injured in the storm or its aftermath.

“We found people with broken bones. We found people with hypertensive crisis. We found people who hadn’t had their insulin in days,” said registered nurse Diane Arneth.

Many of the residents have been left unable to go see a doctor, because they are sick, disabled or without a car after Sandy. Others said they simply don’t have the time as they suffer through the headaches of trying to reclaim their lives.

“Everyone’s too busy with FEMA, getting the insurance due to all the claims and backups,” said Oakwood Beach resident Alexander Belokoptty. “Everyone’s still waiting for justice to come, and trying to survive right now.”

Despite all the distractions, the residents were thankful for the medical help.

“It’s not going to take away the fact that you have to rebuild your house, but it makes you feel good that a lot of people are coming out to help you,” said Oakwood Beach resident Frank Laurito.

As the doctors and nurses provided some relief to the community, they said they got a sense of comfort in return.

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