Hurricane Dorian left the only hospital on Grand Bahama Island in shambles.
Patients in wheelchairs were evacuated through a flood of water two feet deep. In the coming weeks, there will be a critical shortage of medical capability there.
“As physicians we like to help, and then we see disasters and need that the people have, why not help if we can, right?” said Dr. Dalian Caraballo.
Dr. Caraballo is a family practitioner in Kendall. After Hurricane Maria destroyed Puerto Rico, she led a network of Puerto Rican doctors here in the United States mainland, known as Doctoras Boricuas, on a mission to collect and distribute vital medical supplies to the island. Within weeks, they delivered hundreds of thousands of dollars in medicine and equipment.
Now they’re getting the band back together, mobilizing to help the Bahamas, grateful for the support they received to help Puerto Rico.
“My phone doesn’t stop, my messenger doesn’t stop, people are already donating” Caraballo said.
From experience, they know what they generally need to collect.
“We found that they needed a lot of gauze, a lot of medication for high blood pressure, diabetes, there was a big need for insulin and we had a lot of trouble trying to find it, insulin is expensive, but we were able to buy it through donations,” Caraballo explained.
One of the first things they’re doing is establishing contacts with colleagues in the Bahamas.
“The one thing that we learned from Puerto Rico is the importance of having point doctors that serve as point of contact, that are there, in this case the Bahamas, they’re gonna be the ones telling us what their specific needs are, we want to try to work the same way, get the donations and then direct the donations directly to the people, to these doctors,” said Caraballo.
The public can help by donating money. Dr. Caraballo says last time, every cent was used to buy medical supplies and every bit of the supplies went directly to hospitals.
“And I know that we can do this again, together we can do this again and help the people in the Bahamas,” said Caraballo.
There’s no question the people of the Bahamas and the doctors there need the help.