I first met surgeon Dick Pantalone when he breezed into his exam room, took a look at a small tumor on my right thumb, looked over at my husband and said gleefully, “Let’s take it off!” Then he and my husband, also a surgeon, proceeded to talk about, oh, everything except my thumb.
A couple of years later, when I joined the staff at Global Links, I was not surprised to learn that Dick was a longtime supporter and friend of the organization. Having spent many years working in developing countries, he “gets” it – he understands what our mission is, and how crucial it is to equip hospitals and medical centers with materials and supplies that are so abundant in the US, and so scarce in disadvantaged communities overseas.
After Dick moved to Wisconsin, he stayed in touch, carrying suture to Ethiopia for us, and encouraging hospitals where he works to save surplus materials for Global Links. So when he wrote asking for suture for an upcoming medical service trip to Colombia, we were happy to donate what he needed.
We recently got this email:
Feb 27, 2011
Thanks so much for the sutures. I am presently in Bucaramanga, Colombia, with a team of plastic surgeons from Milwaukee. Your contribution has been invaluable to the cause. Thus far we have treated almost 50 patients in the first week with a variety of acquired and congenital surgical problems. The Milwaukee Medical Mission is in their 25th year of providing those services to this area. Without your help, it would have been that much more difficult. Thanks.
We were so glad to be able to help Dick and his fellow surgeons as they share their skills with those who otherwise might suffer indefinitely from operable conditions. And I can certainly attest to those skills, as my thumb, eight years later, works perfectly.