Pam Mobley, an anesthesiologist from Tennessee, was vacationing in the Abaco Islands with her friend Joann Coakley when Hurricane Dorian began to move towards Green Turtle Cay.
The women had to make a decision: evacuate, and return to the U.S. safe and sound, or stay, putting Pam’s medical expertise to good use in a location with limited medical care.
Mobley and Coakley decided to ride out the storm and help, and were speaking with their husbands via FaceTime when the hurricane began.
The two men could see the fear in their wives’ eyes as the house they were in began to shake violently.
Then, the computer screen went black, and Ed Mobley and Robert Coakley would not hear from their wives for days, wondering whether or not they would make it out alive.
“The ceiling was dropping, she said the whole house was shaking pretty violently,” Ed Mobley told WVLT.
Ed Mobley, who is also an anesthesiologist, said that his wife was the only medically-skilled person left on the island.
In addition to working as an anesthesiologist, Pam is also an intensive care unit nurse, and could provide potentially life-saving assistance to those in need.
“The only medical person on the island who was a nurse left to be with her family which left Pam to be the only medical person there within 60 miles of the Abacos,” Ed said.
For Pam and Ed, the Bahamas is like a second home. The pair have been visiting the Abaco Islands for 25 years, and recently bought a house there. The couple even helped give medical training and start a rescue team for Green Turtle Cay’s nearly 300 residents.
This deep connection to the island and its people, Ed said, was the driving force behind his wife’s risky decision to stay.
“Pam decided to stay against her better judgment,” Ed said. “She is a chicken at heart, but she does care. We’ve grown up with the people on the island, and Joann wanted to stay to be with her friend.”
By Sept. 5, Mobley and Coakley had safely returned to the U.S., WVLT reported.
After living through the terrifying storm, Mobley said she is already planning to return to the island to help rebuild the town as soon as she is able.
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