You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.

X

Welcome to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

breaking news

Greenon residents to vote on $54M school plan Tuesday

Local doctor part of first aid groups to arrive in Philippines

Dr. Paul Chu arrived in the country on Saturday.


A Springfield doctor is among a team of physicians who are reportedly the first humanitarian medical aid group to reach the Philippines since the area was devastated by a typhoon.

Paul Chu, 56, and others from the Mammoth Medical Missions were headed to a mission in southern Mexico last Friday, but after learning a typhoon slammed into the island while they were at the Los Angeles International Airport the group diverted their efforts.

The 16-member team flew to Manila on Saturday and, according to his wife, Jeanne Chu, have been in Tanauan, Philippines, a small town hit hard by Typhoon Haiyan.

The typhoon is believed to have killed about 2,500 people, affected more than 11 million and displaced about 673,000, according national reports.

Jeanne Chu, 53, a longtime Springfield resident, said she was in disbelief when she learned about the group’s plans.

“My first reaction was what are you doing? …But God is using them. He put them exactly where they were needed,” she said. “I went from being worried to being overwhelmed with pride.”

She said on her husband’s first day, the group performed 55 surgeries — mostly amputations.

On the second day, he was a part of a team of doctors and others who helped deliver a baby via C-section in the pouring rain, Jeanne Chu said.

She and other family members have not spoken to Paul since his departure, but have seen him on national news. They also get updates from the Mammoth Medical Missions’ Facebook page.

A Facebook post on Nov. 12 said: “This emergency operation was done in the pouring rain by Dr. Kim and Dr. Koehler while wearing headlamps, and other team members holding up the tarp to keep as much rain out as possible.”

Other posts show photos from the area and a video of volunteer doctors performing a C-section.

Jeanne Chu said the group has not slept and is running low on food, water and supplies.

“They’re working around the clock. They’re rationing their own food and water.

A national news report said on Thursday that the group would have to begin turning patients away.

Rescue efforts have been hampered by blocked roads and damaged airports.

Earlier this week, the United Nations said it was sending supplies but access to the worst hit areas was a challenge.

“Reaching the worst affected areas is very difficult, with limited access due to the damage caused by the typhoon to infrastructure and communications,” said UNICEF Philippines Representative Tomoo Hozumi.

The Salvation Army has emergency disaster service teams in the Philippines and are providing food, shelter, water and other services.

The organization, which has teams in the area year-round, are asking residents to donate funds to help. Capt. Justin Caldwell said 100 percent of the contributions will go directly to help those in need.

“The greatest need is monetary donations,” Caldwell said. “They have found in the past that monetary contribution is more cost effective because they’re able to decide what the need is,” Caldwell said.

He said nonperishable items are expensive to ship and officials can face delays in getting the items to the affected areas.

Paul Chu is expected to return home on Sunday.

His wife can’t wait.

She said the family was grateful to see him on his birthday on Wednesday on a national news report helping others.

“I just can’t express it. It’s pretty amazing what they’re doing,” Jeanne Chu said. “When you look at the devastation it’s heart wrenching. They’re using their training to help when no other rescue team has even made it. When I watch on TV and see the despair, it’s nice to know they’re out there helping and giving people hope.”

For more information about the Mammoth Medical Missions, visit the group’s Facebook page:

The Associated Press contributed to this story.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Community News

Veteran, soldier boyfriend accused of shooting, killing therapy dog on video
Veteran, soldier boyfriend accused of shooting, killing therapy dog on video

A North Carolina Army veteran and her soldier boyfriend are facing animal cruelty charges after they allegedly tied her PTSD therapy dog to a tree and filmed themselves shooting and killing the animal. According to the Fayetteville Observer, Marinna Rollins, 23, and Jarren Heng, 25, laughed on video as they shot Rollins' dog, Cam, with a rifle, said...
Icons lost in one of Dayton’s most gut-wrenching murders 18 years ago
Icons lost in one of Dayton’s most gut-wrenching murders 18 years ago

This week marks nearly 20 years since the shocking death of one of the most dynamic and famous musicians in Dayton history.  Larry Troutman shot his brother and bandmate, talkbox pioneer Roger Troutman outside of Roger Troutman's Dayton music studio as part of a murder-suicide on April 25, 1999. Larry Troutman was later found dead...
Greenon residents to vote on $54M school plan Tuesday
Greenon residents to vote on $54M school plan Tuesday

Greenon Local School leaders hope voters will approve a $36 million bond issue to allow them to build a new pre-k through 12th grade building on the current Indian Valley site. The bond issue on the Tuesday, May 2, ballot, is for 6.98 mills, which would cost a taxpayer who owns a $100,000 property in the school district a little more than $20 a month...
Potential wet morning commute, storms ahead this weekend
Potential wet morning commute, storms ahead this weekend

Scattered showers in Indiana will move in for the morning through early afternoon on Thursday. An isolated storm during that time frame is also possible.   Showers move in Thursday morning Showers and storms through Monday morning Low severe weather threat for the weekend RELATED: County-by-County Forecasts  TODAY: If a storm does develops...
REPORT: Drugged driving surpasses drunken driving as a factor in fatal crashes 
REPORT: Drugged driving surpasses drunken driving as a factor in fatal crashes 

 DAYTON— A new Governor’s Highway Safety Association report shows drugged driving has now surpassed drunken driving as a factor in fatal crashes. Statistics show drugs were present in 43 percent of drivers in crash fatalities. The majority of Ohio motorists now view people driving after using illegal drugs as a bigger threat to their...
More Stories