Sunday, March 21, 2010

Thank You

I often receive a lot of undeserved admiration and accolades for the Haiti disaster relief efforts as well as the medical work we have been doing for the last 5 years on the island of Hispaniola. I say ‘undeserved’ not just to be humble or deny that there has been some sacrifice involved, but because the credit should not be given to me.

First of all God gave me parents that love me, a brain that functions most of the time, and a life of opportunity not known to all. Praise Him.

Second, I have a wife that supports my workaholic tendencies, handles risk, and tolerates discomfort. Her sacrifices have gone far beyond my own and the rewards have been relatively meager. Some have said she deserves a purple heart, others have commented that there is no one who could be more difficult to live with than me. Probably both are understatements. Most wives would not tolerate the gypsy lifestyle and a husband who has very little routine in life. At least the wives of other orthopaedists can make up for their husband’s erratic schedules by going shopping and living in comfort. Instead of complaining she advocates for the poor and injured. She does what it takes to hold the family together and keep me working. She is amazing and deserves more accolades than she gets.

Third, there are many others that also deserve credit – many more than I can list here. All of the many devices that occupy the shelves of my surgical arsenal are gifts from companies and various individuals. All the expertise that surrounds me is a gift of time from many capable and generous individuals. Even many of my personal belongings are gifts. The air mattress I sleep on, the blanket on top of it, the electric fly swatter, 4 out of 5 pairs of shoes I own, and camera – to name just a few. I also owe a lot of credit to all of the people that work full time at the CURE home office to support those of us on the front lines. We often get the credit and they do the work. Robbie Jackson at CURE DR spends most of her working day doing things that I get credit for. I also owe thanks to Steve Bostian, Phil Hudson, and Andrew Haglund our administrative directors in the DR and Haiti who have made big sacrifices to facilitate the ultimate goal of caring for patients. There are hundreds more who deserve accolades, including the many donors who have given money towards this cause.