Puerto Rico struggles to recover from Hurricane Maria

- Puerto Rico is still picking up the pieces after Hurricane Maria left a trail of devastation.

Our Bill Anderson took part in a rescue mission. He spent the day with doctors and companies there who are doing what they can to help, for goodness sake.

The trip was the most recent in a partnership between two local health providers RWJ Barnabas Health and Care One. They’ve been flying over supplies and doctors but this time FOX 29's Bill Anderson got to go with them.

Health Advocate Roberto Prats explained that things are worse than most imagine.

“The situation is like nothing we ever thought that we would be living, but it is what it is and we’re moving forward.”

Roberto met us at the airport, he’s an attorney and health advocate aiding the recovery, and his message was clear the lack of necessary resources leads to fatal results.

“We have already identified about 42 people who have died as a direct consequence of the hurricane. The number continues to grow mainly from issues involving other diseases related to hurricane and sanitation and decent water to drink,' Prats explained.

Our first stop was Hermanos Melendez Hospital where the team brought a plane load of goods, including some battery powered medical supplies.

“This (emergency room) was full of water. We were working really with no medication, with no equipment, no power, it was terrible.”

It also hammered home how impactful things, we take for granted like cell phone service can really be to people just struggling to keep patients alive.

Dr. Campos explained that a lack of cell service made it necessary to basically live at the hospital.

“If I go to my home I don’t have any signal, so there’s no communication, so I have to stay here.  I’ve been here for 22 days.”

“As you begin to leave San Juan you will see the real devastation. The island looks like you took a lawnmower and simply passed over it,' Prats said.

Care One’s Tim Hodges explained why he thinks we can all help the recovery.

“People who are in a position of power that have the financial resources, the political connection and who have a charitable heart will find a way to do something.”

This wasn’t their first support mission and won’t be their last.

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