Dr. Ledgerwood Visits Haiti to Aid Earthquake Victims and Underprivileged Citizens
In July, Advanced Urology’s Geoff Ledgerwood, M.D., traveled from Denver to Port-au-Prince, Haiti with Lumiere Medical Ministries to donate urologic medical treatment, aiding earthquake victims and underprivileged citizens.
Inspired to Serve
Dr. Geoff Ledgerwood, a board-certified urologist, was inspired to take the trip by a friend he knew from his residency program. His friend connected him with Lumiere Medical Ministries, a non-denominational, non-profit based in North Carolina. Lumiere, founded in 1973, coordinates healthcare for the underserved population of Haiti. In addition to distributing medical supplies and equipment, the program also recruits and sends short-term volunteer medical teams to provide care on site.
Matched to Provide Care
While on his trip, Dr. Legderwood stayed with Lumiere Medical Ministries’ Dr. Hubert Morquette and his wife Dr. Junie Hyacinthe, founders of the Port-au-Prince King’s Hospital. King’s Hospital is a 35-bed in-patient hospital that opened just before the catastrophic 2010 earthquake. It was there that Dr. Ledgerwood offered his surgical services to the Haitian locals. Fellow urologist and Lumiere volunteer, Dr. Edward Mediema (of Denver) worked to have appropriate medical equipment donated, and also coordinated the skill sets of physicians, such as Dr. Ledgerwood, with the needs of local patients.
Treating Those in Need
During his weeklong stay in Haiti, Dr. Ledgerwood performed about 20 cases, but one stood out to him the most: A five-year-old girl, Shilove, who suffered from an ectopic duplicated collecting system—a condition in which urine drains into the vagina. This condition required Shilove’s parents to purchase diapers for her to wear daily. In a place where 90 percent of the population makes less than $1 a day, this was a massive financial burden. Dr. Ledgerwood corrected her condition during a two-hour procedure, freeing this little girl from lifelong embarrassment and financial stress. In addition to Shilove’s case, Dr. Ledgerwood corrected earthquake-caused pelvic injuries and urination issues, treated enlarged prostates/BPH in men (with the use of TURP—Transurethral Resection of Prostate) and freed women from urinary incontinence issues stemming from birth trauma.
In addition to treating patients, Dr. Ledgerwood and his fellow medical team members taught the Haitian chief urology resident additional urologic procedures that the chief resident will be able perform and teach others long after Dr. Ledgerwood and the team have returned home.
“It was amazing how the smallest things could make such a big impact for this population,” Dr. Ledgerwood explained. “It truly was a privilege to help this group of Haitians who were so in need, but each patient gave back to me a great deal both emotionally and spiritually. I plan on making another trip in spring 2012.”