DALLAS ― A medical team from North Texas is getting ready for its mission to Haiti.

Twenty-three doctors and nurses from Forest Park Medical Center are preparing to depart from Dallas Love Field this weekend. Their focus is to help doctors at a hospital in Port-au-Prince treat dozens of people who are injured.

We ve been told the hospital we are going to has power and water, but only has three physicians there, said Dr. Richard Toussaint from Forest Park Medical Center. They are absolutely overwhelmed. There are, quite literally, hundreds of people waiting for help.

Eight surgeons, two search-and-escue members, 10 nurse/support staff and three anesthesiologists are participating in the effort.

They will head into the region in planes provided by Jet Linx. Two of the flights with the team and supplies leave Saturday. The other, scheduled to depart Sunday, will take more supplies to the disaster area. News 8 is planning to travel with the doctors and report on their mission in the coming days.

For Toussaint, it s critical to get to the victims as soon as possible. He knows time is running out.

Some of the decisions have already been made, and there are people who needed help yesterday but didn t get it, Toussaint said.

The doctor has been working with the U.S. State Department, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee from Houston and military officials to gain clearance to land at the airport and procure ground transportation. He knows the mission is full of challenges, but his team is hoping to save lives.

I think it s going to be an emotional time, but you stay focused on the mission and realize that we will do what we can, Toussaint said. We can t save everybody, but if we save just a handful, that s worth the effort.

If you would like to help the Forest Park Medical Center call 469-624-5546.


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