Mediterranean Refugee Crisis Medic

$2,692 of $3,500 goal

Raised by 47 people in 28 months
John Caron
on behalf of Laureli Morrow
 MONTPELIER, VT
When the refugees land they have nothing. The smugglers will most likely have stripped them of any assets and they cannot take bags onto the boats. They are probably only a third of the way through their journey to a new life...if they make it.   I will be going to Lesvos soon to assist with medical needs and to bring much needed supplies.  All donations will assist with this endeavor.  Hand to hand we help each other. We cannot save the World but we can make a difference.
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On my way home. I don’t know how to even begin to put these past three weeks into words. This trip has been one of the hardest, most rewarding and yet heartbreaking things I’ve ever done. When I joined Health Point Project(HPP) almost three weeks ago we were sheltered on the bare ground in a tent better suited to shade a weekend cookout. We had two reclining lawn chairs and a couple of small boxes held our entire pharmacy. We have progressed to working out of a heavy duty army tent on a raised wooden floor with real beds and our pharmacy has grown to a size that can no longer be locked in our car at night. A large permanent structure will be completed within the week.
I feel so privileged to have been part of this project. What an amazing group of people came together to make this happen, all of them volunteers wanting to make a difference. Doctors, nurses, paramedics and just plain hardworking, clever and resourceful people who wanted to help. So many new dear friends I’ve lost count.
During our growth of the past few weeks thousands of refugees have passed through Moria Camp. On our busiest days we’ve cared for more than 150 patients. Everything from respiratory infections to wound care to trying to sort out complicated chronic illnesses and everything in between. All while fighting our way through ridiculous politics that complicated and often hindered care.
The people we cared for have been through things most of us can’t begin to comprehend. Scarred bodies and souls that will never heal. I witnessed the results of barbarous acts every day. On those same days though I witnessed equally beautiful acts. An old man with pneumonia wrapped in a blanket and huddled over a tiny campfire offering me a piece of bread. It wasn’t the only time I was offered food while walking around camp. People grateful for the smallest act of kindness. Family reunions when it was feared they may never see each other again. A concerned person guiding us through the dark to a stranger they were worried about. An endless stream of refugees volunteering their time to translate in our medical tent. Some of them staying extra days in the camp to help when they could have moved along on their journeys.
It will be a long time before I absorb the experiences of the past few weeks. So much to take away from my time at Moria Camp.
I’m considering returning sometime this winter if the need in Moria continues. If not there then some other place. Unfortunately there are many other locations in need as well.
I want to take this opportunity to thank all the people who donated money and offered words of support. The donations paid my way here and supported me while I did this work. Everyone I worked with was a volunteer and not only paid their own way but also had to take time off from paying jobs. Without a dedicated group of volunteers working outside Moria Camp there would have been thousands of people with no access to healthcare. Thank you all for helping to make this happen.
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The last full day before returning home. The refugees were pouring in last night and it's very cold here now. Not enough blankets, tents and everything else to go around. Thank you for all your generous support but the work continues and the needs seem endless. Every donation ensures these families get a brief respite with care and compassion. I plan to return soon and continue this rewarding and humbling service.
Finding joy in the midst of despair
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Busy in fits and starts yesterday but no major dramas. Took a man over to the UNHCR office who was trying to find his wife and child who had been taken to hospital. As is often the case when you are out and about someone asked me to come and check on a family member. While kneeling in their shack checking an elderly man's blood pressure a man came in, kneeled next to me, and started translating. He introduced himself as Mustafa, a physician from Afghanistan. I invited him to our medical tent and he stayed with us for the rest of the day translating. He speaks six languages and was able to help with everyone who came through. In addition to this it quickly became apparent that he is also a very knowledgable doctor. He shared his stories of fleeing Afghanistan. Mustafa has been walking and in his words "sometimes running" for a month now. He arrived by boat yesterday with his sister and nephew, the rest of his family has been killed by the Taliban. He knew some of the MSF doctors killed in the U.S. led bombing there a couple of months ago as well. We parted ways at the end of the day and he thanked us for giving him the chance to be involved in medicine again. Mustafa reminds me of all we have to be thankful for on this Thanksgiving day.
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A tribute to the work John is doing from Ravi Jaipaul, a provider from the UK: "John Caron, the calm and stoic US ER Nurse who's currently leading Health Point Project while Hadia Aslam, founder, does the grunt-work in the UK. Health Point Project, epic team."
Day and night the work continues.
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$2,692 of $3,500 goal

Raised by 47 people in 28 months
Created November 1, 2015
John Caron
on behalf of Laureli Morrow
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MB
$20
Margaret Becker
27 months ago

Thank you for your work John.

MA
$100
Martha Allen
27 months ago

My hopes are with you.

KT
$50
Katie Thesing
27 months ago

This season I am so thankful for volunteers like you who bring critical and compassionate aid to the refugees coming into Greece. Thank you.

JJ
$50
John Jones
27 months ago

My good friend, Davis Perkins, a medic and former smokejumper, is working hard to bring comfort to the refugees in Greece. I am happy to contribute how I can to the efforts.

$20
Anonymous
27 months ago
SG
$50
Susanna Griefen
27 months ago

Blessings

NC
$100
nancy chickering
27 months ago

thanks for your dedication John

$25
Jennifer Armstrong
27 months ago

Peace and Strength and Love! Thank you!

$100
Anonymous
27 months ago
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