Mission of Mercy: Through the eyes of the Zottolis - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Mission of Mercy: Through the eyes of the Zottolis

Dr. Lawrence Zottoli examines a patient. Dr. Lawrence Zottoli examines a patient.
Michael Zottoli. Michael Zottoli.

By Dawn Baker email | bio

KONONGO VILLAGE, GHANA (WTOC) - We all know timing is everything and never has the time been more right for one family to take a journey of a lifetime, than now. 

A dynamic father and son team were among the volunteers on the Goodness and Mercy Foundation's medical mission to Ghana.

If you have a heart at all, I don't think anyone can go on a trip like this and not be affected by the people. Just like me, Dr. Lawrence Zottoli and his son Michael, will also never be the same.  They played very different roles, but they still took away the same impression.

21-year-old Michael Zottoli is a man on a mission. "I started Monday counting pills in the pharmacy," he said. "The rest of the week I have been handing out water to all of the staff members and helping out wherever needed."    

He is all over the mission property filling in wherever volunteers need a hand.  Each day, Michael makes his way through the crowds trying to make sure all of the volunteers get water.

Even though he is focused on his very important job assignment,  he can't help but notice what's going on around him.  In fact, he's overwhelmed by the people who come by the hundreds in hopes of seeing a doctor. 

"The first thing that comes to mind is I feel bad that they have to wait so long. Some have been waiting since 6 in the morning yesterday and others  have been waiting days even to get treated," explained Michael.

In spite of how quickly the volunteers work, we all know that they will never be able to get to everyone. "It really helps you to understand what Christ went through because everyone was coming to him for healing, trying their hardest to get to him, crawling all over each other to get to him. It really helps you understand things in a different light," explained Michael.

While Michael is taking care of the volunteers, his father is busy treating patients. During the weeklong mission, he treated everything from malaria to migraines.

"As far as the experience, it kind of met my expectations and exceeded it in a lot of ways. I felt overwhelmed at times by the sheer numbers of people. Every day, patients would go home and tell people and the patients would come from a wider and wider and the next day we would get more and more so I learned to get to the heart of the problem to treat them as fast I could. By the end of the week, I felt like I had learned a lot I think we all felt like we had gotten something good from it and given something good to the people of Konongo," said Dr. Lawrence Zottoli.

Both father and son are planning to share their experiences in hopes of encouraging others to join them. Although this was their first medical mission, it will not be their last. They believe something happened on their trip that has changed them forever. 

"We have brought our good will, our love and our care and the things that we know as physicians.  We just want to bring that back to the people in the states and try to inspire them to get with it and help us the people need our help and we can do so much good," said Dr. Zottoli.

You can help too by supporting the Goodness and Mercy Foundation with your donations. All of the proceeds go to medicine and supplies. Call 912.232.6048 for more details.

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