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Local Medical Professionals Prepare for Relief Trip to Philippines

Updated: 01/23/2014 3:50 PM
Created: 01/11/2014 8:59 PM KSTP.com
By: Megan Stewart

While Typhoon Haiyan is long gone, Minnesotans are still helping in the recovery and there's still a lot of work left to do.

A team of 75 doctors, nurses, surgeons and handymen will set-up camp about 90 miles outside of where Typhoon Haiyan hit in the Philippines. The victims, who are in massive need of medical attention, will take busses to the site from their villages.

This group of Minnesotans is more than just a bunch of good Samaritans. Throughout the weekend, the group worked on packing up the medical supplies they will need.

They are well prepared. According to Dr. Bernard Quebral, the group is equipped with 600,000 meals, rain coats, mattresses, and clothes.

They are also well trained in the medical field. They will work on 8,000 to 10,000 patients in one week and perform about 200 major surgeries, Quebral said.

Dr. Thomas Okner is an ear, nose and throat surgeon. He said he will mostly be spending five straight days operating on enlarged thyroids. During the last trip, his team did as many as seven in one day. This will be his second trip working in a Filipino hospital.

"You work harder than you would anywhere else," Okner said.

Suzie Santer, a nurse, said people will wait hours in line just to get a baggie of vitamins. good health is never taken for granted...

Each box is carefully packed for an around-the-world trip to combat a desperation they're prepared to face, when the rest of the world has looked away.

"Kind of like in the words of Mother Teresa, show up, look, see what needs to be done and do it," Okner said.


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