TLC Complete Care stays open through winter storm

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The folks at the TLC Clinic said “the needs of the many truly outweigh the needs of the few.”

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — It’s a fact that when a crisis hits, people here tend to respond in some pretty remarkable ways. First responders and medical personnel are at the top of the list.

One local group who, since the pandemic and through our freeze crisis last week, has been giving 110-percent to help their neighbors. They are on the frontline of healthcare — the TLC Clinic on Staples Street.

In the last year their workload has quadrupled. “

I stopped tracking hours,” said Dr. Richard Kretschmann. “We all put in the extra hours and the extra effort.”

Dr. Kretschmann, Medical Director for Complete Care, can’t even keep track.

“I couldn’t even come up with a number off the top of my head,” Kretschmann said.

There is one sure thing the doctor knows –“We take care of each other,” Kretschmann said. “We take care of the community.”

In fact, these folks are like a family, and it’s because of that they were able to get through some of the toughest times in the past year.

“What made it difficult is we went from seeing numbers of 20 and 30 a day to 150 a day,” Emergency Physician Dr. Brian Rich said. “So what the staff had to do to overcome that and to be able to see that number of patients per day was extraordinary.

“While this story focuses on this one group of people, the efforts here tell a much bigger story about the true spirit of caring when times get tough.

“People were coming in, slipping and falling on ice, you know, just everything you could think of,” said Ann Marie Mellows of TLC Complete Care.

“Still needing COVID tests, and they were continuing to see patients and continuing to show up. Even with the temperatures, even without power. We didn’t have water.”

Bellows said they have survived many challenges in the past, but last week’s freeze was certainly the biggest.

“We had staff that just couldn’t get out of their house,” Bellows said. “They couldn’t make it, and so we had staff members that were here, had worked a 12-hour shift, and they just stayed. They stayed and covered the next shift for the next girl, the next guy, the next doctor, the next nurse.”

“Not one complaint,” said Trish Brummett, director of nursing. “Staff stayed here, you know. They used the beds here to sleep. They brought their food in; but they dedicate their time away from their families to be here to help other families.”

Borrowing from the old adage, the folks at the TLC Clinic said “the needs of the many truly outweigh the needs of the few.” Especially during the most difficult of times, in the true spirit of the Coastal Bend.

For the latest updates on coronavirus in the Coastal Bend, click here.

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