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Desoto Memorial Hospital
Dr. Vasant Patel has gone to Haiti!
Date : - 26/10/2010
ARCADIA -- Last Friday morning, Dr. Vasant Patel was having breakfast with his wife when an

urgent televised plea seized his attention.

It was just after 9 a.m. and the DeSoto Memorial Hospital surgeon was scrolling through the

channels when he happened to stop on the local Fox News affiliate. At the moment, the Rev.

Kurt Holthus, founder of Hope International Ministries in North Fort Myers, was reaching

out to physicians, seeking their helping in providing relief efforts to the

earthquake-ravaged areas of Haiti.

"He said they needed more doctors, specifically, they needed a surgeon and if any surgeon

was listening to please call. I turned my head and looked at my wife and she shook her

head 'no.' I started shaking my head 'yes,'" he said.

Tuesday, Patel boarded a plane from Fort Lauderdale to the Dominican Republic. From there,

he said, he and the rest of the entourage will traverse the mountains that separate the two

tiny Caribbean countries.

The journey is a far cry from what Patel had planned for the week. "I had tickets. I was

flying to Virginia to see my parents and my brother for the first time in years," he said.

"But this was more important."

But the week will still be a family affair: accompanying Patel and a small contingency of

other physicians recruited by Holthus' organization will be Patel's two sons -- both recent

medical school graduates. "This will be a unique opportunity for them," he said. "It will

be a great experience for us to share."

Although Patel has previously provided disaster relief in his native India as a medical

student, the journey will also provide him with a first-time experience.

"I've never operated in a tent before. That's mostly where we will be working," he said.

Patel graduated from Baroda Medical College in India. In 1970 he completed a General

Surgery Residency in New York at the Catholic Medical Center, according to information

released by the hospital. He has been with DMH since 2007 as a general surgeon.

His latest gesture has won him even more admiration from his coworkers and hospital

administrators.

"The Hippocratic Oath is an old oath historically taken by doctors swearing to ethically

practice medicine. Dr. Vasant Patel has never forgotten his commitment to this oath. He is

a true humanitarian and we are extremely proud and humbled by his passion to aid his fellow

man," said hospital CEO Vince Sica
Reference : - www.dmh.org/
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