Hope in the Balance
A Newfoundland Doctor Meets a World in Crisis
Dr. Andrew Furey, an orthopedic surgeon, was sitting by the fireplace at his home in St John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, watching TV after work, when dreadful images of the aftermath of an earthquake in Haiti burst in on the cosy domestic scene. Human suffering on an epic scale was being documented in real time. Dr. Furey spent a sleepless night, and woke knowing he had to help in some way. In what has been a theme throughout Newfoundland and Labrador's history, he found himself answering the call.
Dr. Furey formed a team of three--himself; his wife and pediatric emergency room physician, Dr. Allison Furey; and orthopedic surgeon Will Moores--and together they travelled from to Port-au-Prince, Haiti, where they spent a week volunteering. The challenge seemed overwhelming: a multitude of badly injured victims, horrendous working conditions and overstretched aid agencies. But somehow the trio did not lose hope. Instead, they redoubled their efforts.
After returning from that first mission, Dr. Furey founded Team Broken Earth--an expert, unbureaucratic, fleet-footed volunteer task force of physicians, nurses and physiotherapists committed to providing aid in Haiti. The organization has continued to grow, recruiting volunteers from all over Canada. It has carried out many more missions to Port-au-Prince and has expanded its operations to other countries like Bangladesh, Guatemala, Ethiopia and Nicaragua. And its mission has expanded in other ways, with education and training for local medical professionals now at the heart of its endeavour.
Dr. Andrew Furey tells the story of Team Broken Earth's founding and remarkable work with vivid immediacy and raw honesty. He shares his doubts and failures and moments of near-despair. He explores how his Newfoundland and Labrador upbringing has informed his efforts abroad. And he reaches an optimistic conclusion that will leave readers inspired to bring about positive change in their own lives.