(KLTV) Texas teacher Teresa Aguilar, experienced a parent’s worst nightmare when Hurricane Maria struck the island of Dominica where her daughter was attending medical school.
“I was watching the hurricane move, watching it get closer and closer to the island,” says Aguilar. “Thoughts just start playing through your mind. Of course, you’re going to think the worst.”
Aguilars’ daughter, Kaylee Loeza was 3 weeks into medical school in Dominica when Hurricane Maria swept over the island. At the time Maria was a category 5 storm with winds up to 160 mph.
Loeza says around 8p.m. the wind and rain began to pick up as she watched the river rise from her apartment window.
“I was most scared when the electricity went out because I was texting my mom,” says Loeza. “I was like okay were doing okay, she asked for updates every few minutes.”
“8:52 pm was the last text I got from her,” said Aguilar “The text said the roof on the restaurant next door had blown off.”
Loeza says from there Maria’s strength only grew.
“There was water rushing in under our door,” says Loeza. “We put our hands against the door and we could just feel the strength of the wind.”
Back in Diana, Aguilar was desperate to know how her daughter was doing.
“I scrolled through a parent support group with other parents of Ross University students,” says Aguilar. “We were all just looking for a tid-bit of information for us to know that our kids were still alive.”
For days the mother and daughter were unable to communicate, as Loeza was stuck on the island.
“There was no water supply, we showered in the river, we did our dishes in the river,” says Loeza. “Really it was awful because we were just waiting.”
After taking a cruise ship to Saint Lucia, a plane to Miami, and then another to Longview, Loeza made it home safely on Tuesday.
“The closer I got to home the better it was because it was just it was the craziest week of my life,” says Loeza.
Ross University Medical School in Dominica is currently working on an academic recovery plan for its students, but Loeza says due to the extent of the damage on the island, classes will have to resume in another location.