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Local surgical team heads to Haiti

A local surgical team from Weeks Medical Center headed to Haiti includes, (from left) Dr. Walter Voigt, RN Lynda Paquette, Anesthetist Vince Garcia, RN Denise Brisson and P.A.Angelo Vozzella. The quintet posed on Jan. 18, two days before heading to the Haiti border to aid those affected by the recent 7.0 earthquake to strike the Caribbean nation. (Photo by Jonathan Benton) (click for larger version)
January 20, 2010
LANCASTER — A surgery team out of Weeks Medical Center is answering the call for aid to Haiti and will be shipping out today.

Registered Nurse Denise Brisson put together the team consisting of General Surgeon Dr. Walter Voigt, Nurse Lynda Paquette, Anesthetist Vince Garcia and P.A. Angelo Vozzella. All five of them are scheduled to fly out of Boston's Logan Airport at 9 a.m. and will be landing in the Dominican Republic. From there they will using portable medical facilities along the border of Haiti. According to the crew two big things that the surgery team is needed for are stress induced child births and amputations. The crew will be gone for a week working from early in the morning to late in the evening assisting the victims of a devastating earthquake.

According to Mrs. Brisson the team was first told they would be living in dormitories, but have recently found out that they will be sleeping in tents to be closer to those in medical need.

Dr. Voigt said that he used to practice in Miami where he had lots of Haitian patients and friends and when he first heard about the disaster he immediately wanted to help.

"Right after it (the earthquake) happened my wife and I were talking about being part of the relief effort in some way," said Dr. Voigt. The very next day he was approached by Mrs. Brisson who contacted the rest of the team.

"When she called me I didn't hesitate," said Mr. Garcia who noted he also wanted to help as soon as he saw the news footage of the disaster.

"Just seeing all the devastation makes me feel grounded and thankful that we live in a country where we are so fortunate to have what we have," said Mr.Garcia, "It's not political, it's just about helping people."

Before they left, the crew had to be given immunizations for Hepatitis A and B, Typhoid and Malaria.

The mobilization of the team was made possible through the Children Of The Nations organization which is gathering surgical teams all over New Hampshire to send to Haiti and Mrs. Brisson's will be the first of many sent through the program.

COTN is a worldwide program founded in 1995 by Missionaries Debbie and Chris Clark to provide relief for orphaned or destitute youth.

Martin Lord Osman
Varney Smith
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