November 22, 2012
Sandy Survivor Profile “Never be afraid to fall apart because it is an opportunity to rebuild yourself the way you wish you had been all along.” ~Al Greene
The purpose of my interview is to get to hear the untold stories of the victims of hurricane sandy. Media doesn’t tell the stories that need to be heard. These stories can affect everyone’s hearts and bring a different way of viewing others situations. I have interviewed my neighbor’s cousin; her name is Sophia and she lived in Keyport, NJ. She has been married for 6 years and has two children. The household size is 5, including a senior citizen who is 64 years old. She lived in Keyport, NJ where she was living in a private house on rent. They were about to move out in two weeks because they were having a deal through some real estate agents about buying their own house.
When I asked her about FEMA, she shrugged her shoulders with disappointment and said that they put her name in a waiting list since she wasn’t the only one who was affected by the storm. FEMA sent people out to check homes and made a file of every person who owned the house, there was no involvement for the tenants at all. They paid her $500 for interior damage which was actually worth more than $5500. Sophia was 9 months pregnant and she was due on the 30th right after the storm struck. During Hurricane Irene she resided here in Brooklyn near Coney Island Hospital and she as many of us thought, took the storm very minor.
The morning the hurricane struck, she was with her son and mother-in-law. The city officials told everyone to evacuate, but she had no place to go and the local shelters were packed. Her husband is a doctor, and he had to stay at the hospital, so she was in touch with him via phone. “It all got very serious when I saw water on my block. I was scared because I see all my neighbors leaving and packing their cars with food and clothing.” She decided to stay home. One of her neighbor didn’t leave and since the water started coming in her basement she came over at Sophia’s house. It wasn’t a daily routine for her as she recalled, she was making sure she had enough food supplies and her mother-in-laws medication because her mother-in-law has diabetes. They all sat on the couches while they heard gushing winds and water storming on to the street.
Her neighbor saw the water coming in from the front door and that’s when they all took action and transferred everything on to the second floor. She says she was glad to have her neighbor with their three teenage boys who helped to lift up the stuff. That night was a nightmare, they couldn’t sleep at all. They were too afraid to close their eyes, because the water was rising every minute. The power went off and luckily she had flash lights and candles. They used the radio and on the news they were saying that if you call the police, there will be no help for you at all. It meant that they were disabling all the emergency stations, due to the storm. The storm was already too much to be handled, and then Sophia’s water bag broke. She started having sharp pains which became unbearable as every second passed. At that moment everyone started to panic because now the police won’t even help. Her neighbor was a RN, so she and Sophia’s mother-in-law decided to perform regular delivery at home. Her first child was born from a C-section and they were afraid about it this time. Her neighbor and her mother-in-law decided to take action as they knew time was ticking. They took her in a separate room and that’s where she gave birth, without medications, without oxygen, without anesthesia, without her husband. She had tears while telling me this part, “I actually thought I was going to die, my body was torn and I was helpless.” But she gave birth to a beautiful baby girl weighing about 5lbs, and named her after her neighbor Sarah....