My Journey

MY TRUE MISSION IN LIFE IS TO POSITION MYSELF TO HELP AS MANY PEOPLE AS POSSIBLE

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After founding and directing a successful brain surgery practice in Atlanta for over a decade, I embarked upon a mission to bring life-changing surgical treatment to patients in four underserved countries. Words can’t describe the sense of fulfillment that I received from my work and the privilege I felt having fostered true heartfelt relationships with patients and peers in the Dominican Republic, Honduras, Nicaragua and El Salvador. Thank you for sharing this glimpse into my experiences.

Dominican Republic

Gamma Knife Radiosurgery provides a potential cure for some brain tumors and disorders otherwise inoperable. It can also provide an easier outpatient treatment for other patients eliminating the need for open surgery. In 2008, several doctors in the international Gamma Knife community and I formed Medical Radiation Centers (MRC), a social entrepreneurship company, designed to address this global need. Our first project was the Centro Gamma Knife Dominicano at Hospital Cedimat in Santo Domingo. I had the privilege of training and working with a staff of local neurosurgeons who I now count as dear friends. The hospital has treated more than 350 patients including charity cases from the Dominican Republic and Haiti. My colleagues also graciously allowed me to treat additional charity cases from other Latin American countries. It is gratifying to see the quality of care that has developed at the center, and I am fortunate to continue as an active part of this tight-knit team.

El Salvador

Hospital Bloom is the only children’s hospital in El Salvador and provides care for those without insurance, which is 80% of the population of eight million. Unfortunately, the hospital is desperately lacking in technology and funds to provide the optimal level of care. Through incredible providence (see Miguel’s story) I had the opportunity to develop a relationship with the outstanding doctors and nurses at this wonderful institution. Thanks to the generosity of Elekta, makers of the Gamma Knife, I was able to obtain a surgical system and start a minimally invasive Stereotactic Surgery program there. I had the opportunity to train and complete cases with the local neurosurgeons and now they are able to provide more advanced and safer care for many children with brain tumors and other disorders.

Honduras

The first time I served in Honduras was on a short term mission trip with my church in partnership with the HOI (Honduras Outreach Inc.) organization. One nine year old girl walked five miles by herself to get to our clinic in a remote village school house. The next day, she returned with her five year old sister. It was a humbling experience, as many who had not seen a doctor in years came pouring in. Since that time, I have joined the Board of HOI, served as Chair of the Medical Committee, and made many trips to Honduras treating patients and overseeing our four clinics and Public Health initiatives. The work of HOI has been transformative. So much so that in 2014, President Hernandez of Honduras came to Atlanta and awarded the Francisco Morazan Award to the faith-based mission. This is the highest award in the country, and HOI was the first and thus far only foreign organization to receive it.