Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Great News!

She is coming! 

Many of you may be familiar with the story of Bertha, a woman treated in Haiti by the physicians and nurses with whom Pete traveled. Bertha is in need of life-saving surgery. She has a mandibular (on her jaw) mass that is obstructing her airway. The team that treated her realized immediately the severity of her situation and committed to bring Bertha to the US for surgery.  One of the team's nurses, Kari Smith of Knoxville, became Bertha's advocate and has worked tirelessly since returning from Haiti to make this happen. 

One major hurdle in getting Bertha here has been obtaining permission from the US government for her visit. You can imagine the paperwork involved and, of course, the waiting, but Bertha's paperwork was submitted last week and was approved within days!  Bertha has been granted Humanitarian Parole, her sister has also been approved for travel, and they will arrive in Nashville soon to begin preparation for surgery. Dr. James Netterville, a Vanderbilt physician, has graciously offered to perform the surgery.  Vanderbilt Medical Center will cover the cost of her hospital stay. Pretty amazing. 

For more on the Bertha story, head over to Kari's blog.