MERCY MISSION: Doctor Returns From Philippines

Call it a mission of mercy.

A Des Moines surgeon has just returned home after spending five days helping the people of hurricane the ravaged Philippines.

“In terms of the physical devastation and the ruining of lives, how many percentages of people affected, this was the worst I’ve ever seen.” said Dr. Alan Koslow.

As a vascular surgeon, Doctor Koslow has traveled the globe in the wake of disaster, from helping victims of Hurricane Sandy in New Jersey, to the massive earthquake in Haiti in 2010.

But he said he has never seen anything like this before, whole communities leveled in the Philippines. In his five days in the Philippines, Koslow saw over 1,500 patients, delivered about 20 babies, and performed about 200 surgeries, some in very poor conditions.

“The boy had a partial amputation of the finger and a severe wound of the foot that was infected. And what I literally did was I sat on the curb of what was left of his house with his foot on my lap and cleaned it up, you know, debrided infected tissue away,” Kaslow said.

“I numbed up his finger and literally took a scissors and cut off the gangrenous part of his finger,” he said.

Koslow said those who want to help the victims of Typhoon Haiyan should donate money to one of the many agencies offering relief and supplies to the people of the Philippines.

More information on how you can help those devastated by the effects of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines is available here.