Savannah doctor becomes ill while helping in Haiti

By Lynda Figueredo - bioemail

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - Just back from Haiti, the missionaries with Savannah Christian Church are sharing their experiences.

Before returning, a doctor who was on the trip came down with an influenza like illness.

Dr. Williams was part of the medical team from Savannah Christian Church that went to the earthquake ravaged island to help with relief.

Once there, it was the doctor who needed relief, after he came down with a severe respiratory illness, while treating patients in Haiti.

Despite getting sick and the fact that the rest of the team left, Dr. Williams stayed behind.

"I made the decision not to leave, which was a very difficult decision to make," said Dr. Williams. "Because I didn't how I was going to get home."

Dr. Williams says it soon became very clear why he needed to stay.

"Ten minutes after I made the decision to not leave and my team had left, I got a call about a child with bacterial meningitis, and as best as we can tell I was the only neurologist in the country," said Dr. Williams.

Dr. Williams was able to save the child's life, but it wasn't long until the doctor became very ill.

"I took care of that child until Friday, until quite late, and we got him stabilized," said Dr. Williams. "Later that evening I came down with a febrile illness, that was pretty bad."

Dr. Williams was able to return home and was treated by his doctor in Savannah with antibiotics. He is doing well and planning a return trip to Haiti.

"I hope I get an opportunity to go back and do more there, because the need is going to be long term," said Dr. Williams.

A long term recovery, that he says won't be deterred by his short term illness.

Savannah Christian Church is still taking donations for Haiti relief.  For more information, visit

Copyright 2010 WTOC. All rights reserved.