Plainview Doctor and Wife Search for Missing Family in Typhoon Destruction

Dr. Victor Gutierrez and his wife Sesenia search for missing family members in the Philippines after typhoon Hayain.

            

By: Meredith Hillgartner

 

Dr. Victor Gutierrez sends his hope and prayers to his family in the Philippines.

“There will be days when the sun will be bright again,” Gutierrez said.

 Many of them are dead or missing after Typhoon Haiyan.

Gutierrez and his wife Sesenia grew up in the Philippines.

They met at school in Tacloban City-the center of the devastation.

“I cannot fully describe it to you,” Gutierrez said. “The places that I see, especially in Tacloban City where my wife and I met, its’ familiar ground.”

Gutierrez is now a psychiatrist living in Plainview but has several family members back on the islands.

He said he heard from his nephew just moments before the storm hit.

“He was communicating with one of his friends and he said quote ‘the wind is getting stronger’ and then everything is out,” Gutierrez said.

Gutierrez said all the power on the islands have been cut off but thanks to social media he has heard that all immediate members of his family are OK.

His wife is not so lucky; at least 50 members of her family did not survive the storm-others are still missing.

“This is a small town but they had the second most casualties,” Gutierrez said.

Family members who did survive are now dealing with new struggles.

“The typhoon is one thing and now it is survival; it is survival of the fittest,” Gutierrez said. “I don’t blame them if they ransacked the store getting food for the children. In dire emergencies you do things that you can’t imagine.”

Gutierrez said he and Sesenia have struggled these last few days, feeling helpless and shedding many tears for the land that they love.

“I want them to instill hope that we will not abandon them,” Gutierrez said.

 

Sesenia is still looking for family members.

Her brother Amado Candido, his wife and their five children.

Her  niece Maria Claire Candido and her two children and her nephew Paul Matthew Candido.

If you have any information on survivors please contact us at (806)748-2288.

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