Local News

Fayetteville Doctor Goes To Gulf Coast, Brings Home Five Families

Posted September 7, 2005 6:51 a.m. EDT

— Mark Miller, a plastic surgeon in Fayetteville, went to the Gulf Coast region as part of a surgical team to help with medical care.

And when he came home, with the help of Operation Blessing and Joe Gibbs Racing, he brought back five families who lost everything during Hurricane Katrina.

"I thank God every day for the blessings that we all have, and it's an incredible thing. It can happen to any of us," Miller said. "It can happen to one of us today."

For the families who came to North Carolina with Miller, the new town means new jobs, schools, and a new home. The families currenlty live in a hotel near the Cape Fear Valley Medical Center.

They said the move, and having to start over in a new place, is tough, especially for 21-year-old Demirah Howard. She is pregnant with her second child, and she said she doesn't want to go back to Louisiana.

"New Orleans will never be the same," she said. "It will never be the same."

Dr. Miller is in the process of getting the evacuees medical care and a more permanent place to live.

Parents of children said they would try to enroll their children in the Cumberland County school system.

"Thank you for actually saving us, for giving us another life to live, to give us hope as human beings," Tasha King, one of the evacuees, said of Dr. Miller.

For these five families, King said, they've received a helping hand they never expected.

"Oh, it lifts my spirits to see that somebody actually cared about us," King said.