The third anniversary of the Haitian earthquake is just a week away, and in preparation, a group of 18 local volunteers from Forest Park Baptist Church and Labor of Love help prepare in Joplin for a medical mission to the nation -- which is still recovering.
OBGYN Cheryl Fogarty and her team fill up twenty bags with fifty pounds of medical supplies each. They're preparing for a week long stint at a clinic in Haiti with her organization labor of love. What started as a one time medical trip in 2010 has turned into a trip every ten weeks to help with surgeries, women's conferences, and education.
"I just do a little thing, you know, I deliver babies," said Cheryl Fogarty, OBGYN and Labor of Love creator. "That's what I know how to do and so I get to teach women how to do that, and how to be healthier doing that so that there are less orphans because we have more moms who make it through child birth."
According to Dr. Fogarty, the Labor of Love clinic saw over more than four thousand patients and delivered sixteen hundred babies in 2012 alone, and she says that she is excited to see what two 2013 brings for her clinic.
"Part of the new vision from the maternity clinic and going forward into 2013 is to include a neo-natal ICU, so we are going to start the first phase of building that this coming up week," Fogarty said.
They're packing supplies ranging from q-tips and gauze, to peanut butter and formula. The team includes doctors, surgeons, even construction workers, but all have a heart for helping.
"We're going down there to meet the physical need of people," said Isaac Reed, leading Haitian Team. But we need to keep our focus on the fact that we can fix a physical need."
Reed says they are also there to help with spiritual needs.
In addition to the pre-natal care, down the line Fogarty plans to build a forty bed hospital --completely with general medicine and surgery, with an ER and trauma center. The cost of which all comes from private donations.