Her Red Cross work reconnects Deb Harper with patient care
Preparing for retirement in 2013 after a fast-paced 30-year career in nursing, Deborah Harper imagined easing into the world of volunteer service only after a careful evaluation process. But on the morning of July 6 that year, Asiana Airlines Flight 214, carrying 307 people from South Korea to San Francisco, crashed during its final approach to SFO. Three people died and nearly 200 people were injured, many of them seriously.
“I was asked if I could help in health services,” she says. “I spent the better part of the next week working out of a makeshift nursing and mental health clinic established inside a hotel near the airport. Initially, I was going to hospitals, trying to find out where people had been sent and how we could help them.”
With that first disaster serving as a springboard for a new “job” with the Red Cross, Deb has never looked back.