For Joan Wilson, SCN, returning to Eastern Kentucky to view the path of destruction left by tornadoes was almost more than she could bear. At some point she had to stop and collect herself after meeting friend after friend who had lost loved ones, their home, and all of their possessions. Sister Joan worked for 21 years providing medical care and a pastoral presence to the folks in these areas. She worked with St. Joseph’s. After returning from the devastated area, she spoke about how she had worked in eight of the nine counties destroyed by the storms. As she drove through the streets and delivered basic supplies to the residents, she found whole neighborhoods nearly unrecognizable. One of the most startling stories was that of a couple who had no basement, who wrapped themselves in a blanket and knelt on the foundation of their house as the tornado moved in. The house was ripped away leaving only the foundation behind, and the couple. It is a miracle as to how they survived.
The items Sister Joan delivered to the victims of the storm came from members of the SCN family and others. She dropped off the much needed items to families staying in shelters. Sister Joan laments that the thought of what needs to be done to rebuild towns and neighborhoods is overwhelming, saying her beloved Eastern Kentucky will never be the same. She is thankful to all who donated items and is already planning a return trip.