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Format: 04/20/2014
Format: 04/20/2014


The Almanac: Helping hand

Wednesday, March 24th, 2010

By Terri T. Johnson

Bethel Park physician assistant Deb Bohan expected to spend just a few hours in Haiti when she accompanied a group of medical experts to pick up children from the BRESMA orphanage shortly after the Jan. 12 earthquake that devastated the small island nation.
She ended up spending 10 days without clean clothing or personal items. The sights, sounds and smells she experienced at a small town near the epicenter of one of the world's most destructive earthquakes were overwhelming. The experience changed her life.

Bohan witnessed amputations and just about every type of medical problem she could imagine. And she can hardly wait to return at the end of March.

Even before boarding the plane in Pittsburgh for the quick trip to Haiti, Bohan, who normally works in the pediatric critical care unit at Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh, ran into a former colleague, Chip Lambert. Lambert is a medical doctor who works in the emergency department where he first met Bohan. He was taking two tons of medical supplies to the remote town of Leogane, about 18 miles from the capital of Port au Prince. Lambert obtained the supplies from the Brother's Brother foundation as he is on the board of directors, Bohan said. He was also to assess damage to local buildings.

He asked her to accompany him. The only catch was she had just the clothes she was wearing and no food. He told her there was no place to stay or to eat, and no guarantee of when or how she would return to Pittsburgh.

"I thought for 30 minutes and said, 'I'll never have an opportunity like this again' and decided to go for it," Bohan said.

To read more, visit The Almanac website.

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