Wave of Relief
-Francisco G. Cigarroa, M.D., Health Science Center president
The 11-year-old from Banda Aceh flashes a smile of appreciation and relief as his father sits at his bedside. He and his father survived the deadly tsunami that ravaged South Asia on Dec. 26 and took the lives of his mother, brothers and sisters. Now he is safe aboard the floating hospital - the USNS Mercy, a Navy ship hospital - attended to by volunteers assembled by the organization Project HOPE. They are led by the Health Science Center’s own Maj. Gen. Harold Timboe, U.S.A. (Ret.), M.D., M.P.H., assistant vice president for research administration and initiatives and founding director of the Center for Public Health Preparedness and Biomedical Research.
It is gratifying to see the boy’s appreciation. "We had come 8,000 miles and finally had begun our work," Dr. Timboe wrote Feb. 7 about his volunteer team. "We are bringing the best America has to offer - the spirit of caring for our people."
According to the U.S. Embassy, since the U.S. military began providing assistance, more than 2,800 relief missions have been flown, more than 2,200 medical patients have been treated and 4,000 tons of supplies have been delivered.
Photo courtesy of the U.S. Navy.
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