DPT students extend reach beyond clinic to flood-stricken Eastern North Carolina
For a day of service and break from the academic grind, three Radford University Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) students ventured south.
Ross Copeland, Ashley Humphreys and Garrett VanNutt joined a team of volunteers in Washington, North Carolina, where homes were damaged by flooding related to the recent Hurricane Florence.
“As physical therapists, we see those who are in difficult life circumstances and help them,” said Van Nutt, a third year DPT student from Martinsville. “This was just a different environment or stage – a pretty messy one, too.”
The DPT threesome joined a party of Virginia Tech students to don Tyvek protective suits instead of lab coats and advanced the ongoing regional clean up and recovery work. The work was more on the order of demolition, according to VanNutt. They ripped out sodden carpet, tore down and hauled off water-soaked wall paneling, removed ductwork from crawl spaces and laid bare the walls of three single-level homes to help the owners’ reconstruction efforts move forward.
“Driving to and from the site, we saw damaged houses and piles of debris and trash,” said VanNutt. “For me, the vastness of the devastation put things into perspective and was a big reality check.”