Red Cross volunteer suffers heart attack in the Virgin Islands

JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – An American Red Cross volunteer from Connecticut has returned home after recovering at a Jackson hospital.

The volunteer was deployed to Saint Croix in the Virgin Islands, after Hurricane Irma devastated the area.

But Ezequiel Alejandro’s journey took a different route after Hurricane Maria arrived. “Monday morning around 6:20, I went to bed and started feeling a little bit tight in the chest, a mild burning sensation in my arm,” he said.

Alejandro and another nurse decided he was having a heart attack.

But, because the hospitals in Saint Croix were being evacuated, Alejandro had no where to go on the small island.

“Sometimes I had to be doing an errand or they send me to do a damage assessment on the other side of the island. And we didn’t have any communication because the towers were down. So communication was very, very bad, and if I would’ve been on the other side of the island and this had occurred to me, I think the outcome would’ve been totally different,” Alejandro said

He was flown to Saint Dominic Hospital in Jackson, where local Red Cross volunteers who he had never met stood by his side, “We probably had 20 people that came to visit.” He says despite the circumstance, he’s grateful for his experience. “The Red Cross people here, and the people at Saint Dominic are the best.”

Alejandro says he’s visited the Mississippi Gulf Coast before, but this was his first time in Jackson. He says he hopes to visit again.

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