Longtime friends weather the winter storm together

Iris Treviño Facundo and Evie Garcia-Rodriguez stand in the snow.
Iris Treviño Facundo and Evie Garcia-Rodriguez enjoy a moment in the snow together. The two have been friends for decades and first met when they were 3 years old.

For two UT Health San Antonio staff members who have been friends since they were 3, the 2021 winter storm in San Antonio is just one of many memories they’ll always share.

When Evie Garcia-Rodriguez, a senior research coordinator in the Department of Urology, lost power at her home on the night of Monday, Feb. 15, her friend, Iris Treviño Facundo, project coordinator, Department of Psychiatry, Division of Behavioral Medicine, texted her to check in and asked if she and her family needed anything or wanted to stay at her home.

Garcia-Rodriguez, her husband and son decided to stay home that night, but the power wasn’t restored the next day like they were hoping.

“I typically try to take the stance of toughing it out and saying we can do this, but it got to the point that it was so cold in the house,” Garcia-Rodriguez said.

Getting to her friend’s home was an adventure as they navigated back roads due to closed highways. Once there, they were finally able to get warm after hours spent in a cold house. Warm showers, warm food and Internet connectivity sweetened the deal.

Garcia-Rodriguez said the families did their best to social distance while together. They also tried to make the most of this rare weather event in Texas and enjoy the winter wonderland outside.

“It was like a large slumber party,” Garcia-Rodriguez said. “Our boys played in the snow and built a snowman and I helped Iris organize her Tupperware.”

Garcia-Rodriguez and her family were able to return home on Friday, Feb. 19.

“I’ve known Evie for more than 40 years and we have always been there for each other during good and bad times. If the situation was reverse, she and her family would have done exactly the same for us,” said Treviño Facundo.

Both women said they were able to shelter together as safely as possible thanks to the vaccines offered at UT Health San Antonio, where they’ve both worked for 20 years.

“This definitely added comfortability to opening my home during the winter storm,” said Treviño Facundo. “Our families have been making memories together for years and this will be another we get to add to the books.”



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Article Categories: Winter Stories