By Kelli Grant
Published: February 4, 2010, 6:09 PM
SIOUX FALLS, SD - Just more than a week ago, Sanford Health physicians, nurses and medical staff were treating Haitian refugees in the Dominican Republic. Now back in their own practice, they're still making a difference for the country rocked by earthquakes. For one surgeon, the medical mission has come full circle.
One 11-month-old little girl has no idea her home country of Haiti was recently ravaged by a 7.0 earthquake. And she has no idea her physician, Dr. Geoffrey Haft, could have saved a member of her own family.
"It really makes you feel good though when you take someone from another country that has no hope of modern medical treatment," Haft said.
Haft was a member of the Sanford Team that set up a hospital and did dozens of surgeries in the Dominican Republic, amputating and saving limbs.
Little Daphnee found a home in South Dakota last summer and the hope is the Broberg family will adopt her.
Born with club feet, she's here now on a medical visa as Dr. Haft works to correct the disfigurement, one cast and brace at a time.
"It's really fortunate that she was able to come here, have her feet treated and have a supportive family take care of her," Haft said.
Daphnee's soon-to-be adoptive mother is overjoyed knowing what Dr. Haft did for the Haitian community just weeks ago.
"I thought, 'Wow, that's awesome,' and, 'What a heart he has.' And it just really solidified that he really cares about those people and kids and not everybody's willing to do that," Borberg said.
Since Daphnee is on a medical visa, Haft's services are free of charge.
"It always feels good to help people in need. I mean, that's one of the reasons that most of us go into the medical field is for those kind of feelings," Haft said.
Her prognosis is great.
"He believed she'll walk, she'll run. It might not look the same as everybody else but she'll do it and having two little brothers, she'll probably want to keep up," Broberg said.
Daphnee will have to wear her boots and brace for at least another couple of years, but because she's been having seizures, the next step is possibly brain surgery.
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