Seventy doctors, nurses, translators and other medical professionals — 41 of whom were from the Diocese of Orlando –travelled to the Dominican Republic for two intensive, one-week surgical missions sponsored by the diocesan Mission Office. Numerous orthopaedic, gynaecological, neurological and general surgeries took place Nov. 2-9 and Nov. 9-16, at Hospital Alejandro Cabral, located within the sister Diocese of San Juan de la Maguana.
Father Fred Ruse, a diocesan missionary priest serving the people of the Dominican Republic, compared the working conditions to that of a “’MASH’ unit, a field hospital where stunning miracles happen.”
While the doctors treated people of all ages, two young boys especially touched Father Ruse’s heart. The first was an underdeveloped, 10-year-old boy. Surgeons spent seven hours correcting his severe case of club-feet. Fr. Ruse had stopped in for a quick visit at the hospital and ended up staying the entire day, tending to the boy.
The second was an 8-year-old boy whose arm had healed poorly after a break years before. After learning that other children made fun of the boy because his arm was crooked, the doctor spent two hours repairing the injury.
Father Ruse praised the mission teams for their attention, care and love of the people.
“It was the experience of being in church for me,” Father Ruse said. “It was sacred.”