Doctor flies supplies to help Eastern Ky. flood victims

Weekday broadcast of WYMT Mountain News at 6
Published: Aug. 2, 2022 at 5:29 PM EDT
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HAZARD, Ky. (WYMT) - A Doctor living in North Carolina decided to come back to her Kentucky roots when she heard about the devastating floods that impacted her family and the rest of the region.

Doctor Randi Barnett, a Breathitt County native, is the Chief Neurosurgery Resident at UNC Chapel Hill. When she heard about the flooding, she wanted to help people in her hometown, but she was not sure how to get into the area.

“They were telling me there was no physical way for me to be here at that time because all of the roads were covered or blocked off,” said Barnett.

All hope was not lost, though, because a colleague of Barnett’s wanted to help get her home. The colleague just so happened to be a pilot in training, so he decided to pull some strings.

“Randi had reached out to the neurosurgery department and they banded together to bring lots of donations together to her home while she was working and have them ready to go for us to fly here today,” said Doctor Phillip Sholes, the Resident Anesthesiologist at UNC Chapel Hill.

Dr. Barnett and Dr. Sholes were able to fly from North Carolina to the Wendell H. Ford Airport in Hazard to deliver supplies to those in need and reunite Barnett with her family.

“The fact that we got to do that today, to come together, or rather to bring her over here with all the supplies that she collected was just a big win for me personally and a big win for us all around,” said Sholes.

Dr. Barnett said, though it is heartbreaking to see what the region is going through, she is confident Eastern Kentucky will rise again.

“I just wanna say to the people of Kentucky, you got lots of angels everywhere that really care about you and we’re gonna grieve, but we’re gonna get through it and rebuild,” she said. “Eastern Kentuckians are strong people, we’re Salt of the Earth people and we’ll figure it out and we’ll be able to move forward together.”

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