Category Archives: Haiti

Dr. Candace Granberg Carries a Hammer for Haiti

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Dr. Granberg started a Facebook campaign called #hammerforhaiti to raise money for LEAP with the goal of $2500 before traveling to Haiti on April 20. The plan was that if she reached that goal, she would carry the heavier hammer in the fall Hammer Race on October 7. Well, she surpassed the goal and will carry that heavy hammer!

Dr. Granberg says she’s “happy to suffer/sweat/bleed/run for such a great cause” and “will try to make the Hammer Race [her] fundraiser every year.”

 We caught up with Dr. Granberg soon after the Haiti mission to learn more about her involvement with LEAP:

Why did you choose to volunteer with LEAP?

Dr. Clanton Harrison, one of my mentors during my pediatric urology training in Dallas, invited me to come with him to Haiti when I was a fellow. I was honored to be part of that team in April 2012, and it was such a great experience. Dr. Harrison taught me so much during that mission, and I prayed that I would get asked to go again. The LEAP organization is simply amazing – they put together an outstanding, dedicated team, gather necessary supplies, and run an efficient surgical mission trip.

How is it different from your everyday practice?

I listened to a talk by a pediatric urologist about international volunteerism where the speaker said, “Volunteering is an antidote to burnout.” I truly believe that I am a better surgeon because of my trips to Haiti – technically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. My experiences with LEAP have put everything in my medical practice – and my life – in perspective.

Was there a particular patient experience that especially moved you?

Not a particular experience but a particular trip – my first trip in 2012 was so moving. I had no idea what the state of medical care was in Haiti. I had no idea how much poverty existed. Parents were stoic pre-operatively and tearful/thankful after surgery. Patients that Dr. Hobar had operated on previously came back to thank him. The teamwork was phenomenal. I couldn’t wait to go back.

18402071_10155066127847254_7967324067632329150_oWhat is it like working with the team? 

I am always in awe of how a group of people, many of whom have never previously worked together, meet up in a hospital with limited resources and just go straight to work – and within minutes, we are gliding forward as a well-oiled machine. Everyone is visibly happy, working their tails off, and nobody ever complains – this makes for such a positive atmosphere! Hours go by, but they feel like minutes. This is truly amazing.

What parts of the experience will stick with you the most? 

How grateful the parents are after we have cared for their children. They not only thank us for our work, but many also tell us they will pray for us. This always affirms that our (LEAP’s) mission is not only providing medical and surgical care but to teach and share that we are doing this work through our faith.

What drives you to share your gifts in this way?

Knowing that God has blessed each of us with different gifts. Every single person on our team is necessary for us to do the work that we do, and I feel lucky to be able to share my knowledge and skills with the children of Haiti. I also love that we are able to teach the local nurses and surgeons (Dr. Dreux and his residents!) so that even more kids and families can be helped after we leave.

Photos: Hammer Race and Scott Porter

Haiti: Seven Years of Hope and Healing

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Dr. Craig Hobar in Haiti after the earthquake

It has been 7 years since the devastating earthquake hit Haiti. Its epicenter was a mere 16 miles from the capital city of Port-au-Prince. Hundreds of thousands lost their lives, and those who survived lost nearly everything else.

On Day 4 after the quake, accompanied by Drs. Ale and Ian Mitchell, LEAP Founder Dr. Craig Hobar worked around the clock, amputating gangrenous limbs and repairing facial injuries of victims pulled from the rubble in Port-au-Prince.

LEAP then sent rotating surgical teams for 6 months, during which time we developed a close partnership with locally based Hopital Espoir and saw the extreme need for continued surgical care beyond our disaster relief efforts.

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Thanks For Giving: Non-Medical Volunteer Janet Ortega

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janet-ortega-leap_hamilton-3449Janet Ortega has an endless capacity to give, and she does so through LEAP in many ways. She has traveled once to Zimbabwe and five times to Haiti on LEAP mission trips, where she brings food, clothing, and Bibles for the families we treat. She and her husband Pat also led the Pediatric Ward build in 2014 as well as the recent OR, ER, and Outpatient Clinic construction in honor of the Hobars’ 25 years of service through LEAP at our host hospital in Port-au-Prince. Last year, she hosted our Landmark recipient Neisha as a host mom. We are grateful for her humanitarian heart!

Haiti Honorary Expansion Project

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img_4826In 2014, one of our greatest highlights was giving witness to another beautiful unfolding prayer as to how God uses us in extraordinary ways to bless others. As many of you may know, Janet and Pat Ortega took on the charge of leading and building a 2,000 sq. ft. Pediatric Ward at our partner hospital in Haiti, Hopital Espoir, which has benefited thousands of impoverished children living in this dense geographic region.

img_4825This September, LEAP once again sent a construction team, led by the Ortegas, to Haiti to build an Emergency Room with an Operating Room and Recovery Rooms, along with a new 2,500 sq. ft. Outpatient Clinic. Several months of planning went into this project, which served as an expansion of the Pediatric Ward. The project was completed just in time for our 25th anniversary Gala that included a surprise honorary award presentation at the event.

To honor Robin and Craig Hobar and their quarter-century of humanitarian service, this recent legacy project was specially funded by Ellen and Clayton Kershaw. The Kershaws wanted to recognize the Hobars’ outstanding commitment to helping children receive free surgical care in the most remote regions of the world. This weekend, our medical mission team took part in a dedication to celebrate the hope of healing, made possible by the hearts and hands of our amazing construction team and the Kershaws’ tremendous generosity.

Haiti: Hurricane Matthew

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screen-shot-2016-10-17-at-9-23-10-amHurricane Matthew has weighed heavily on our hearts at LEAP. Forces of nature seem to be a constant cause of worry and devastation for the Haitian people. When the 2010 earthquake hit, we devoted every resource we had to aid in international disaster relief. It is what inspired us to start our International Disaster Relief program. We will soon travel to Port-au-Prince via our Mission Program with both joy at the new Emergency Room that we recently built at Hopital Espoir and sorrow for all that was lost in the western edge of Haiti in this latest weather event. Please join us in praying for those who lost loved ones, their homes and their sense of place. May they feel the mighty presence of God’s love.

Haiti: Construction Team Highlights (5/5)

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img_7345Our construction team traveled home on Saturday, September 24. This team put their hearts and souls into this project, all to honor the work that Robin and Dr. Craig Hobar began in 1991. Janet and Pat Ortega led our construction team on this expanded project and the Pediatric Ward project in 2014.

These legacy projects enable our host hospital to provide optimal medical and surgical care that will bless the lives of countless children, their families, and neighbors living in the Port-au-Prince area. From the bottom of our hearts, we thank the Ortegas and all who were involved — what an amazing humanitarian construction team!

Haiti: Construction Team Highlights (3/5)

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hproject-9-18-16-2On Sunday, September 18, the construction team worked a few hours to stay on schedule and had a pizza party for lunch, something that is a true splurge in Haiti. Afterward, the team rested the remainder of the day, the first time since they began the project, only to start again early the next morning.

This team was such a hard working group of devoted men and one extraordinary woman who continued to work alongside local Haitians and taught them new techniques along the way. Many of the locals were also part of the construction team that worked on the Pediatric Ward in 2014.

Haiti: Construction Team Highlights (2/5)

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Our construction team in Haiti arrived at the hospital to quickly begin work on the vacant shell that was soon to be the new Outpatient Clinic. In addition to our team, local Haitians also worked to begin framing the walls, sheet rocking, and framing out the doors by Day Three. The team completely embraced the heart of this project that was quickly unfolding to include a very fun work site.

Haiti: Construction Team Highlights (1/5)

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img_7351We wanted to share a special series this week about the extraordinary accomplishment of our volunteer construction team, led by long-time supporters Janet and Pat Ortega. After several months of planning, they very quietly traveled to Haiti on September 11 to build an Emergency Room with an Operating Room and Recovery Room, along with a new Outpatient Clinic, in only 14 days at our host hospital, Hopital Espoir. This was all completed to honor Robin and Dr. Craig Hobar for their 25 years of humanitarian service, an honorary award and gift given to them by Ellen and Clayton Kershaw.  
img_7350Our seasoned construction team that traveled with the Ortegas included Jim Andrews, Harry Steed, and Dustin Warren. 
In order for the project to start smoothly, the hospital staff had to clear out a significant area of the hospital located under the Pediatric Ward, which was built largely by the same team in 2014. This was a major undertaking by the hospital with pre-planning by Janet and Pat, but all was ready whenever our team arrived.