Delray doctors back from Haiti

By Tara Cardoso - bio | email
Posted by Rachel Leigh - email

DELRAY BEACH, FL (WFLX) - A story of three people who saw a need and wanted to do something. Three local doctors just got back from helping Haiti earthquake victims, and they have got quite a story to tell.

"It was medicine at its purest. Doctors, patients, love -- nothing else. No bureaucracies. No paperwork. No denials. No HMO's. Just doctors and patients and love," said Dr. Dardano.

The doctors are all from Delray Medical Center, and they just got back from spending four days at this little hospital. "The adrenaline runs through your system. You see somebody; you don't say no; you keep doing"

Two plastic surgeons and one neurosurgeon went back to the basics. It was chaos: they were working with limited supplies, anesthesia and food, but they were able to help in a big way.

"There were patients that they wanted to amputate their legs, and they asked us to consult, and we were able to do surgery and save their legs," said Dr. DeLuca.

They slept on two-inch mattresses outside on the ground. They ate beans and rice and didn't shower for days, but none of that mattered. They made friends and changed lives and found smiles.

"I held her hand and told her it's going to be okay and she smiled at me until she fell asleep. I can't get that image out of my head," said Dr. DeLuca.

There was pain, and there was suffering, yet there was triumph. They treated a 2-month-old baby whose mother had died shielding the child from the rubble. They got her on a U.S. Navy ship for further care, but they know this is just the beginning of a long road.

"The frustration, even the good that we did, we could have done so much more if it was organized differently. Frustration with the red tape," Dr. Zucker said.

They tell us they are three men forever changed by what they saw and did. "Reminded me of why I went into this 20 years ago. I love the way it feels. I want to go back."