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Medical Mission Trips

Medical Mission Trips – A Collection of Photos – Ethiopia Mission 2014 and 2016 – Haiti Mission 2013 and 2014

(scroll down to view the slideshows)

Several years ago I was sitting in the doctors’ lounge at about 2 o’clock in the morning waiting for a patient to deliver—my life for the last 20 years or so. My daughters were nearly grown, one in college and the other getting close to the launch. One of my top priorities in life was almost fully realized, and I knew that soon I would have more free time than I would know what to do with. My wife of 22 years and I were in a good place in our marriage and she knew that I felt something gnawing at me. Something of a small longing that I kept at arms length because of my other responsibilities, but something growing in urgency up to this point. In the lounge, I struck up a conversation about serving in medical missions with friend and colleague, Dr. Tom Tighe, who was taking a break from his shift in the Emergency Department. He had done medical missions previously and told me some of his experience. He then recommended that I talk to another colleague, Andreas Kamlot, a cardiothoracic surgeon who had gone to work at a small hospital in Haiti. I later spoke to Andreas, who shared with me his experience at “Hôpital Sacré Coeur” in Milot, Haiti.

Shortly afterward, I looked at a volunteer surgery schedule at this small hospital on their website, Crudem.org and noticed that a particular Gynecologist from New Jersey made several trips every year to this hospital. So I reached out to Dr. David Butler and asked if I could join him on a trip and lend my surgical skills to his team. I was thrilled when he said they would be happy to have someone from the west coast along for the ride. It sounded like a strong potential opportunity.

At roughly the same time, I was approached by some of the leadership at my church (Community Presbyterian Church in Danville) to join with some physicians and a dentist to travel to Ethiopia to provide basic medical care to the people of Sintaro Village, located 6 hours south of Addis Ababa. Our church had “adopted” this village as part of a long-term commitment to provide education, fresh water, and access to medical care for one of the poorest villages in Southwest Ethiopia. Perfect opportunity, I thought, to take my youngest daughter out of a few weeks of her Senior year of high school and have her join me.

This was just the start of it. Looking back, I feel humbled by my experiences over the last few years, and blessed that I could use my time and talent to serve women in 3rd world countries – the absolute poorest of the poor. Although I have felt that I have truly made a difference for the individual women that I have treated, it is equally true that they have helped make a profound difference in my own life personally, spiritually, and professionally. As one would expect, my perspective has necessarily changed after encountering such extreme poverty, the results of chronic starvation, a true lack of meaningful healthcare, and unexpectedly, joy from the simplicity of life – smiles and kindness from those who truly experience no comfort.

During my last trip to Haiti in October 2015, I met a man at the airport in Cap-Haitien. Any time I see an American going to Haiti, I have to ask about their story and their mission, because this is not a country people go to for purposes of vacation. Ed Bos runs a non-profit organization supplying free donated laboratory equipment to organizations providing medical services in 3rd world countries. Prior to his involvement in this company, he ran a large laboratory in the United States. At the end of our brief conversation, he encouraged me and put words to my desire of the last few years. These words I will never forget: “At the end of it all, how great it is to trade in your life of success for a life of significance.”

Following are some photo books that I have put together of the trips that I have made. Being an obstetrician and gynecologic surgeon is not just a career but is a passion of mine, both at home and abroad. I hope my enthusiasm comes through in the pictures you see in these photo albums. I plan to add to this page with every trip I go on, and pray that I continue to make my life more significant.

Click Here to view Ethiopia Mission Trip 2014ethiopia-2014

 

 

 

 


Ethiopia 2016 Picture book_Page_02_Image_gang-kidsClick Here to view Ethiopia Mission Trip 2016

 

 

 

 


Click Here to view Haiti Mission Trip 2013haiti-2013

 

 

 

 


Haiti 2014 Picture Book_Page_01_Image_0001Click Here to view Haiti Mission Trip 2014

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