Local doctor plans return trip to Haiti

Dr. Doug Boudreau talks about a medical mission trip to Haiti. He plans on going back soon to help.

A pediatrician from Capital Region Medical Center in Jefferson City who recently went on a medical mission trip to Haiti before the disaster says he plans on going back to help.

It was a former Haitian student of Dr. Doug Boudreau's who encouraged him to make his first medical mission trip to Haiti back in October.

"Haiti is the definition of a third world country, Dr. Doug Boudreau said. It's very underdeveloped, no infrastructure."

Just a few months later, Boudreau's planning on going back. This time to help earthquake victims.

"There's whole towns that are just gone, Boudreau said. They're just gone."

On his first trip Boudreau and colleagues spent their time traveling to villages to see patients who would be waiting for them.

"Here, I would see maybe 30 patients, if it was busy, I might see 40, Boudreau said. We had days where two physicians would see 170, 200, 270 patients."

He hasn't heard from the young man who served as his translator when he was there and fears he could be among the tens of thousands dead. That's why he says urgent medical help is needed.

"Misfortune can happen to anybody and these people already on a daily basis suffer, Boudreau said. Just in their everyday lives. They have no safety net."

His first trip to the Caribbean country helped him better practice medicine once he got back to mid-Missouri.

"I think I brought away a little more compassion for people and I try not to make prejudgments about them, Boudreau said.

It's that sense of compassion that has the Capital Region doc heading back to a country now dealing with a one-two punch of poverty and disaster.

Boudreau is planning on leaving within the next couple of days at the soonest and a couple weeks at the latest.

He has to make sure he and his colleagues have a safe place to stay with food and water before they can leave.