From Duluth with love

For our own uses on Power Line I check the Daily Alert aggregator prepared by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs for the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. If there is a high quality story or essay of interest to supporters of Israel, it shows up on the site. Today’s Daily Alert is overflowing with stories related to the Obama administration’s compulsion to sell out to Iran.

One story off the beaten track today comes courtesy of the Duluth News Tribune: “Duluth nurse joins Israelis to offer aid to Filipinos recovering from typhoon.” I want to pass it on without comment. Julie Pearce writes:

BOGO, Philippines — After 46 hours of travel — from my doorstep in Duluth to my arrival in Bogo — I was exhausted. I had come into some information that the ferry route from northwest Cebu was developing security concerns and I had to re-evaluate my plans to mobilize to the island of Bantanyan, where I originally had intended to establish a field clinic.

After five hours of traveling north through communities affected by the typhoon, it became clear that the eye of the storm had passed near Bogo. I learned that the Israeli Defense Force had established a sophisticated, bona-fide field hospital there, and I figured it would be better to combine resources than to reinvent the wheel.

I arrived at the IDF compound and spoke with the colonel regarding our common interests and resources. After some discussion, the colonel welcomed me as a collaborating force. This came to me as the greatest honor possible:

I have the utmost respect for Israel and its medical/disaster relief forces. They were in Haiti during the early phase of the 2010 quake, as was I, and I heard stories of the monumental relief efforts they pulled off. Here, I was being welcomed wholeheartedly onto this amazing team.

I am the only non-Israeli medical team member here. It’s an honor, not only to serve alongside them but to learn from them as well. They’ve treated me entirely as one of their own. I work, eat and sleep alongside them. We are two separate nations working side by side with a common goal at heart: to reach out and help the victims of the typhoon.

Other organizations are around, but not here where we are, though there is a mission branch of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints helping to translate. On the drive to Bogo, I saw no obvious relief vehicles going in or out, only children lining the road with outstretched hands. It’s sad.

What we have found is that we are treating fewer and fewer medical conditions related to the typhoon. We have seen a good share of septic wounds improperly cared for, post-typhoon in unhealthy living situations, as well as undiagnosed fractures. My day was spent splinting and sewing up several people, mostly injuries from the cleanup and the random girl who fell out of a coconut tree.

The IDF has essentially turned a developing world, rural hospital into a fairly modern-day medical facility in just 48 hours, all in the context of a major disaster. They have integrated electronic records, ultrasound, digital X-ray, a fairly sophisticated laboratory, an active surgery suite and incredible medical staff with varying specialty backgrounds. I’ve been mainly working with the orthopedic specialists and surgeons. We have been treating a lot of septic wounds, fractures and fresh wounds from falls, motorcycle crashes and — particularly — soft-tissue wounds sustained in the process of the local residents’ cleanup efforts; machetes, axes, things falling, the list goes on.

These specialists are also offering treatment for chronic conditions that the rural health system here would never have been able to support. A woman with stage 4 breast cancer that was eating through her breast tissue had a mastectomy performed. A man’s mouth tumor was treated and much more. These lives saved may, in a small way, offset some of those tragically lost. For a patient pre-typhoon, these would all be fee-based hospital visits; fees that most in a lifetime would never be able to afford….

Whole thing here, more on Julie Pearce here and here.

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