Vt. Surgeon Treats Victims Of Syrian War
The U.N. reports that two million people have fled the civil war in Syria, and an estimated 4.25 million more people are displaced within Syria. The international organization Médecins Sans Frontières, or Doctors Without Borders, has been sending physicians into Syria to assist the internally displaced population there and others who need medical treatment.
This fall, as the United States and other countries contemplated military action against Syrian President Bashar Assad, a Vermont surgeon was on the ground in Syria with MSF.
“The patients that we were seeing were from internally displaced camps as well as, potentially, combatants. There was no effort made to select out, or really even identify, where various individuals came from.” - Dr. John Lawrence
John Lawrence is a pediatric surgeon with Fletcher Allen Health Care and a professor of surgery at the UVM College of Medicine. Dr. Lawrence can't disclose the location where he worked in Syria, but he describes to Vermont Edition the surgical hospital that MSF created in order to provide medical treatment. He says many of the patients he treated had burns caused by cooking fires in cramped conditions in a nearby refugee camp.
Vermonters Without Borders
Vermont Edition's interview with John Lawrence is part of a VPR project that invites Vermonters to share their experiences helping others abroad. Click here to see more stories, and tell us yours.