“Like the Gift of Life”— PQMD Member Eli Lilly and Insulin Donations in the Wake of Hurricane Maria

Effort Included PQMD Members Direct Relief and Project HOPE

When Hurricane Maria swept across Puerto Rico in September 2017, the storm knocked out power for months – putting supplies of life-sustaining medicines in jeopardy. As a vital center of Eli Lilly and Company operations, Lilly

employees jumped into action, transforming a commercial organization in to a humanitarian operation, nearly overnight.

In the wake of this disaster and humanitarian crisis, Lilly and its partners on the ground, including PQMD member Direct Relief, worked urgently to get insulin and other supplies to people in need.

Nayeli Pagan shares her story in a video provided by Eli Lilly.

One of those people is 7-year-old Nayeli Pagan. She and her family live in Humacao, one of the most devastated areas hit by Hurricane Maria.

“The family lost all electricity in their home,” said Gustavo Pagan, Nayeli’s uncle, who works for one of Lilly’s partners, Project HOPE. “They lost their insulin, too. We are talking about a 7-year-old girl and she lost the insulin that was vital to her life.”

Working with Gustavo, Lilly and Project HOPE secured insulin for Nayeli. “That was like the gift of life for my family,” he said.

It is believed that insulin donations saved as many as 9,000 lives in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria struck. Including Nayeli’s.

Watch this video to learn more.

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