Volunteer: Andrew MacLean

Volunteer
  • During:

    2007-2008

  • Email:

    /

  • Phone:

    /

Bicol Clinic Foundation, Inc.
Philippins, 2007 and 2008

Funny story how Dr Schuster and myself came to be friends, I was boarding an airplane in Tokyo, Japan. I overheard him talking about where he was going; his destination, the same as mine, was a remote medical camp in Bandipur, Nepal. I introduced myself and sat down. During our time in Nepal I was assigned to be his assistant, we instantly hit it off and thus an interest in medicine was sparked in me. By the end of our trip 2000+ patients had been treated and a new friendship was born. When I returned to the U.S.A. Dr Schuster offered me a job in his office and I accepted. I worked for him for about two years and during this time we traveled to the Philippines and Sri Lanka following the 2004 tsunami. While working with Dr Schuster whether in Asia or in Boca Raton, I was exposed to the real life representation of what a humanitarian is and was inspired to go back to school to be a nurse. Through Dr Schuster's generosity, compassion and leadership this work has become a passion in my life and I can easily say my life has changed drastically since that coincidental meeting of ours in Japan.

The Bicol Clinic has now hosted me three times in the Philippines and each year I attend I see how this foundation is growing by leaps and bounds. My first time there Dr Schuster's family and I were the only volunteers and we worked out of a bamboo shack with only one room, the second time I attended the clinic had been established but we had a two hour commute to it every day. Now with the completion of the dormitory due to your generous donations, we are able to sleep on the clinic grounds, walk to the clinic in the morning and spend the extra time and money on patients rather than commuting. These are just a couple examples of how fast and efficiently this foundation is growing. This past year with the help of the ten medical students, we were able to go out into the local hospitals and clinics and do some research, perform many more treatments, surgeries and overall help a much larger group of Filipinos.

One project Dr. Schuster initiated was to keep track of those patients who required surgery, but were much too sick for us to handle, so I started a list. The first one on it was a 17yr old college student, who desperately needs a kidney transplant. I took his info down and immediately started investigating how to help. After many hours and multiple visits I am extremely happy to say we have found an American donor to pay for the surgery and he is currently undergoing the pre-surgery testing and exams and will have the surgery as soon as that is finished. This is one of many success stories that have come to us at the Bicol clinic through your generous donations and support. I could go on and on about the kind of person Dr Schuster is and the kind of foundation he has created, but I think I have given you all a glimpse. Dr Schuster has a driving force in him propelling him to help those in need; rich, poor, young or old he has changed my life and thus helped me help others.

Andrew MacLean
Nurse-Volunteer

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BCF has dispatched more than 100 medical students, in addition to dozens of American and foreign physicians and nurses, to provide care to more than 14,000 patients in the Philippines, Nepal and Haiti, many of whom had never before seen a physician. Our team members also volunteer in orphanages and schools to extend health care to other aspects of life. We’d love for you to be Part of the Start!

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