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Heart to Heart International sends mobile medical unit to Iowa after tornadoes

Posted at 12:22 PM, Jul 20, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-20 13:22:03-04

LENEXA, Kan. – After tornadoes swept through central Iowa Thursday afternoon, Heart to Heart International sent staff and volunteers to help with the recovery effort.

HHI is a nonprofit organization based in Lenexa, Kansas. The company has delivered medical aid and supplies to more than 130 countries. 

Marshalltown, a city of 27,000 people, looked to be hit the hardest. Key landmarks, including the courthouse, were damaged. The only hospital in Marshalltown was damaged as well. 

Patients at that hospital were transferred to a larger hospital in Waterloo.

"All of the inpatients have been transferred to other hospitals, but the emergency services will need to be operated out of a remote location -- our mobile medical unit is like a primary care facility on wheels," Heart to Heart Chief Operating Officer Kim Carroll said. 

Carroll said they'll be taking additional antibiotics, pain medication, and other medical kits to provide relief to tornado victims. 

“Obviously there will be many responders in addition to Heart to Heart, but we'll be there for whatever the medical needs are for the patients in that community,” Caroll said. “You have all the patients who were in the hospital who were obviously sick to begin with. Families are obviously affected, the town, the pictures from downtown looks like it's basically destroyed.”

In Pella, the agricultural machinery maker Vermeer was hit as well. During the time of the storm, Vermeer was hosting more than 400 customers for an event. They were all moved to safety.

In a statement from HHI, the organization said the hospital in Marshalltown requested their help due to the hospital sustaining damage.