Windy Day at OM

12/16/12 – Occupy Medical volunteers called all hands on deck as 45 MPH winds threatened to pull our intake tent from the ground. A visiting reporter from KLCC jumped into action with other seasoned volunteers as the 20 foot long, steel framed portable canopy filled with air like a giant box kite. We held the held the poles tightly as James placed filled 5 gallon water squares on the wooden supports. Clearly, the cement cider block weights were not enough.
When I tell stories of our adventures at Occupy Medical, some people narrow their eyes with doubt. The tragic tales of our patients, the valiant deeds of our volunteers, the generosity and diversity of our donors and the obstacles that we all face from the weather, the authorities and from the limit of our resources just seems unreal. This time we had a reporter there to witness it first hand.
This reporter cut her teeth on radio news. She has been doing her job for close to 20 years now. She observed the flow of the clinic. She asked in-depth questions. She got a tour of the bus. When she asked to interview a patient, I grabbed the first patient to come out of the bus.
I went back into the med tent to check in with the volunteers and make sure that we were out of danger. A few minutes later, the reporter came back into the tent. She was holding back tears. She explained that as the patient started telling his story, he broke down. This seasoned reporter was so moved that she started crying even as she held tightly to her microphone. The clinic got her. It does that from time to time.
The reporter turned to me and asked I ever get used to all this. I looked around. I saw the piles of donations, the shivering patients being warmed by our oil heater, the volunteers comforting new patients as they waited for their turn to see a doctor. No, I thought, I really never get used to it.
Occupy Medical is different every week. New patients, new wounds, new stories. It tears me up and inspires me in a new way every time. It’s got me.
– Sue Sierralupe, OM Clinic Manager


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