When doctors and medical personnel contact Cornerstone Project, we try to accommodate them by organizing an opportunity for them to provide medical services for the poor and handicapped, blind and afflicted, orphans and needy, in institutions where Cornerstone has worked for years.
For example, a team of medical personnel from the States contacted us, asking if we could help them arrange a medical mission here. We began by taking these American doctors around to various poor and needy institutions that could benefit from the doctors’ medical expertise. We then determined the best approach and assistance for each situation, matching up the greatest needs of the multitude of people who were sick and ailing with the various types of medical attention available.
Cornerstone then obtained discounts at a hotel in the center of town where the doctors would be able to stay comfortably and have everything at hand’s reach: supermarkets, easy transportation, restaurants, and other conveniences. Of course, an ample supply of safe drinking water was also a must, since the tap water in Cambodia is very unsafe for foreigners.
Various governmental offices were visited to obtain the necessary permits and official papers needed to operate in the various public places. We also negotiated the best deals on daily transportation to the various projects in and out of town.
Finally the doctors arrived, tired but very excited by the work at hand. The main doctor, a specialist in cardiovascular medicine, Dr. Mintz, had arrived a few days earlier to speak at a conference at the Sihanouk Hope Hospital in Phnom Penh. He was joined by pediatrician Jordana Fenik, Dr. Jessica and Amit Kalia, surgeon Alex Gellman and a team of 12 others.
Each day the doctors, pediatricians, medical assistants, medical students, translators, and organizers, tackled the immense task of triaging, consulting, doing medical checkups, and distributing medicines to nearly 200 patients a day, both adults and children. They worked relentlessly from 7 AM to 5 PM, for 5 days in a row, taking only a short lunch break to snack on a sandwich (the favorite being peanut butter and strawberry jam!)
They assisted the lame, the blind, the dying, the handicapped, the paralyzed, the adults, the children, the babies, the old folks, etc….
They distributed, free-of-charge, half a ton of medicines and medical equipment valued at US$100,000, leaving the first aid cupboards of each institution they visited with enough medicine to last them another 6 months. Additionally, they donated medicine and medical equipment to the Sihanouk Hope Hospital.
That one unforgettable week they traveled by land and sea, through mud and rain, experienced flat tires and electricity cuts, and they kept smiling in the midst of everything, happy to render service to fellow human beings in need.
Over 800 patients were seen and assisted in these 5 days, many surgical operations took place, many lives that could have been lost for want of medicine were saved, and many bodies healed.