The poor will always be with us--without access to health care, with no permanent address. Often times the poor are working people who have developed poor health conditions, leaving them unable to work.
Extreme poverty in the United States is growing. (World Hunger)
Extreme poverty means living on less than $2.00 a day without adequate housing, food, or medical care. In some areas of the country extreme poverty hits one of every 25 families.
Florida has the third largest incidence of homelessness in the United States.
Many of the Sunshine state’s homeless take refuge in a tent in the woods. It’s a dangerous and difficult situation to get out of, unless help is offered.
Dr. Jeff Lazarus, a Port St. Lucie orthopaedic surgeon is a physician volunteer with Light of the World Charities. Their mission is to deliver quality health care to the world’s poor. Dr. Lazarus performs necessary surgeries without charge to truly homeless Americans in Martin County. He has seen patients go back to work and move out of their tents after their health is restored.
Light of the World Charities has a local dental program in Palm City for indigent, uninsured and working poor adults as well.
Light of the World Charities was founded by the late Reverend Bernard Powell and Mrs. Theresa Banks, RN of Holy Redeemer Church in Palm City. The church has sponsored medical and surgery teams to help local citizens and the poor abroad. Each year, a team goes to Central America, Africa or Haiti, providing repair of hernias, cleft palates, and surgeries on lips, eyes, and limbs. Urological, gynecological, and arthroscopic procedures are also performed. Necessary dental care is included.
The charity has drawn more than 400 volunteers from around the United States to help the needy.
Dr. Lazarus, of Treasure Coast Orthopaedic, has taken three trips with the charity to Central America to help fix ankles, knees, and elbows. He has always wanted to be a doctor; growing up, he enjoyed working with his hands using drills, hammers, plates and screws. He uses these tools in his practice at home, seeing many patients for knee and shoulder arthroscopy and knee, shoulder or hip replacements. The technology he uses is brand new, but in Central America, the equipment isn’t the most modern technology. Using his surgical training from the 1970s and 80s, Dr. Lazarus must be creative and will create tissue grafts out of little.
Dr. Lazarus states, “Medical services in other countries, specifically Central America, are not at the level of the United States. Sometimes the poor must walk many miles to a doctor or hospital. The injury or illness can leave the patient unable to work or living life as a pariah, an unwanted person.”
The need to help the extreme poor is immediate, whether at home or abroad. Medical professionals like Dr. Jeff Lazarus provide compassionate treatment both in the United States and abroad. They give sacrificially of their time and money. Dr. Lazarus mulls over each case to determine how to get the best result for each patient. These trips are sometimes dangerous, depending on the country; guards with machine guns may accompany the volunteers.
Light of the World Charities needs to be supported locally as it has chosen to help those at home as well as those in poorer countries. Poverty and suffering are growing. The poor will not go away, but need help. Support Light of the World Charities as they continue to be a source of hope to the truly poor.
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© 2016 "Hometown Heroes" Kelly Jadon