HUMANITARIAN TRIP TO HAITI IS BACK ON FOR A GROUP OF UTAH DOCTORS
(ABC4) - By Brian Carlson
SALT LAKE CITY - A group of Utah doctors thought Hurricane Sandy had canceled their humanitarian trip to Haiti, but Saturday night they decided they're not let Mother Nature get in their way.
Joel Porter's bags are packed and he's ready to go.. again.
"It's quite a relief that we're going to be able to go," said Joel Porter, M.D.
Dr. Porter is part of a group of 16 Utahns with the Haiti Health Initiative leaving Saturday night to Haiti. They're providing free medical care to some of the Caribbean country's most impoverished areas.
But it almost didn't happen.
"The reports came in that the clinic was pretty much destroyed," said Porter.
When Hurricane Sandy hit Haiti, it wiped out the group's medical facilities. Dr. Porter, Dr. Wood, their two daughters and others were forced to accept the trip was over.
"It was very disappointing," said Emily Porter, Joel Porter's daughter.
"We have some people there that we're their only health care they'll get, and the thought of not being able to be there for them was really difficult," said Tom Wood, M.D.
But just hours after canceling their plans, the group learned people in Haiti had worked feverishly to repair damage to the treatment center, and Haitians encouraged them to keep the trip alive.
"They worked really hard, and told us we could still make a difference," said Porter.
So with the threat of the storm gone and the promise they can still treat patients, the group the going again. And they're hoping this time a luck is on their side.
"Are you crossing your fingers this time?"asked Reporter Brian Carlson.
"Yup, I think it'll work out alright," said Sabrina Wood, Tom Wood's daughter.