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Alaska non-profit team bringing medical skills to the Bahamas

(KTUU)
Published: Sep. 4, 2019 at 4:57 PM AKDT
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A local non-profit organization based in Anchorage is packing up to send a team of volunteers bringing medical care to those affected by hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas.

Responding to natural disaster is something Alaskans know all too well. Teresa Gray started Mobile Medics International about three years ago, on a mission to bring relief to disaster struck areas around the world.

"After the earthquake in November -- and I have property off the Homer Spit, so the Kenai -- driving back and forth through that and seeing the devastation and the fire, and the wildfires that are going on all over, I have empathy for the people who have not only gone through what Alaskans have gone through, but something exponentially worse for them," said Gray.

Gray transformed her garage in her home to a medical supply store room, filled with everything the team would need to pack up and leave with on a moment's notice.

"Alaska Medical Missions is an organization here in Anchorage that takes medical surplus," said Gray "So, all of this stuff came from clinics and hospitals within Alaska -- stuff that was no longer needed, but not expired."

Mobile Medics International is comprised of all medically trained volunteers coming from all parts of the world. For this trip, a team of nine will head to the disaster area.

"We're packing medical bags, we're packing food and tents and water purification so we can be completely self-sustaining," said Gray. "The last thing we want to do is go into a hurricane-ravaged area where resources are very very thin for the people who actually live there and take from that. We don't want to be dependent on them for food, water or shelter, so we make sure we bring all of that."

Sean Burns came all the way from Ireland to lend his medical skills to the cause.

"I do this because I'm able to. I'm trained. I'm experienced, and I cannot sit around and watch people anywhere in the world go through the devastation and hardship they go through," said Burns. "I have the time. I have the ability. I'm not comfortable sitting at home on my you-know-what, watching something unfold around me when I can deal with it."

The team brings supplies and medication so they can provide pop-up clinics, along with compassion for those who need it most.

"We're there to provide medical attention, but we're also there to hold your hand, we're there to give you a hug," said Gray. "We're there to tell you that people from around the world care about you. Alaskans care about you. Doesn't matter how far away you are."

Some of the team members will head out on Monday to determine the most effective plan of action, before the rest of the team arrives on September 12. They'll be there for ten days before they head back.

Mobile Medics International relies entirely on donations to operate. For more information on how to help out, visit their

.

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