Related Story: Haitian woman brought to U.S. for medical rescue
Daytona Beach News-Journal
Dr. Vishtasb Broumand, left, and Dr. John Akers go over tumor surgery with Lorette Pierre, center, as Judy Foster, right, translates during a recent visit to Florida Oral & Facial Surgical Associates.
photo: N-J | David Tucker
Vishy Broumand was sitting at home watching
television, horrified along with the rest of the world at the images coming out
of Port Au Prince. Recognizing some of his colleagues busy providing medical
assistance in a makeshift tent, he realized that he had no reason not to be
there himself and immediately put his thoughts into action. He spoke to his
colleague at Florida Oral and Facial Surgical Associates and the two quickly
figured out how to charter a private jet. A mere three days later, together
with six other physicians from Halifax Hospital in Daytona Beach, the group made
their way down to a hospital in the Dominican Republic near the Haitian border,
where each had traveled before in connection with Operation Changing Lives, the
non-profit arm of Dr. Broumand's practice that funds charity cases both in the
U.S. and abroad.
Back in Florida after five days in Haiti, Vishy Broumand welcomed a bottle of cold water and a hot shower with unprecedented zeal, but he was a changed man. He had found his calling in mission work, and in the process, also managed to bring Haiti to Florida.
On the NASCAR-sponsored plane ride back to Florida from Haiti, Dr. Broumand happened to be wearing a T-shirt bearing the name of his Florida Oral and Facial Surgical Associates practice. In a moment of serendipity, a Texan doctor on the flight jumped on the opportunity to show Dr. Broumand a photograph on his iphone of a 37-year old Haitian national, Ms. Lorette Pierre, with a four pound tumor on her face. The doctor had been trying to get her to the University of Miami for two years to operate on her face but had difficulty getting her a hardship Visa. Dr. Broumand knew he could help. The two doctors exchanged contact information and promised to get back in touch when they returned to the U.S.
Back in Daytona Beach, through Operation Changing Lives, Dr. Broumand and his colleagues did everything in their power to bring Lorette to the U.S. along with a translator to help with her native Creole. Ms. Pierre's tumor was growing unimpeded year after year from within her jawbone such that it would eventually suffocate and kill her. A previous effort to remove the tumor in the Dominican Republic had nearly resulted in her bleeding to death. She weighed only 70 lbs. because she could hardly eat.
On March 22, 2010, Dr. Broumand and his team successfully removed Lorette's tumor. The first time she saw her new face, she cried. Ms. Pierre eats now; her favorite food is pizza. She lives a normal life. On June 21st she returned to Haiti to show the six children who had never seen their mother's true face and the village that thought she was cursed, to take another look.
When asked what surprised him most about his experience in Haiti, Dr. Broumand did not provide a platitude about the violence or the despair that has seemingly plagued the small Caribbean country for years. Instead, with the same enthusiasm in which he tells all of his stories, he shared his sense of wonder and surprise that so many people from all over the world with no ties to Haiti found a way to simply show up and offer any help they could. He hopes people will continue to help. He himself made a second trip to Haiti in April and is headed back in July.
A life-long car enthusiast with a love for fast rides, Vishy Broumand gets his thrills from what he calls "living by [his] Hippocratic oath"-a variation on his father's theme that medicine is a way of life.
... Payvand News - 06/25/10 ... --