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Medical Outreach

Volunteer Doctor in Right Place and Time to Save Severely Injured Young Boy

  • September 16, 2015
  • Newsroom, Latin America and Caribbean

When Dr. Jay Nielsen heard shouting outside a clinic in remote Savanette, Haiti, he found a young boy bleeding on the road. The boy’s foot had been so severely injured in a moving motorcycle wheel that his foot was connected only by the Achilles tendon.

Nielsen was on one of his regular volunteer medical visits to the Missions International of America clinic to provide primary care and surgeries. AmeriCares supports Nielsen with donations of medicine and supplies, including those used to treat the young accident victim. 

“After we controlled the bleeding, we iced the foot and splinted the leg,” says Nielsen. A volunteer family practitioner packed IV solutions and needles, pain medicine and antibiotics donated by AmeriCares and accompanied the young patient to the hospital. The boy endured four surgeries and a month in the hospital – including two weeks on intravenous antibiotics supplied by AmeriCares.

Nielsen and his team return regularly and see their young patient, now able to walk with his friends, while they take care of other health crises. “Hernias that need repair, gall bladders that need removal, cancers that never got any surgery: It is horrifying how seriously ill people can be and walk into our clinic,” says Dr. Nielsen. “Without your products, I’d not be doing medical clinics.”

Each year, AmeriCares supports more than 1,000 volunteer medical teams such as Dr. Nielsen’s in Haiti with supplies, medicine and a medical outreach website where they can share best practices. More than 80% of teams train local staff on their visits, growing in-area health care capabilities.