Trip to Haiti inspiration for East Texas teen

GLADEWATER, TX (KLTV) - By Sara Story - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - bio | email

GLADEWATER, TX (KLTV) - Less than a year after Brandon Kegarise graduated from Gladewater High School, the Bear's star football player was in Haiti. He went with a team of East Texas doctors, treating victims of the catastrophic quake.

"Everything was just kind of last minute," he said. "When we got there, we didn't know how we were going to get back."

Moments after their arrival, the group was whisked away to a make-shift hospital in Port-au-Prince.

"Before the earthquakes, it held 35 patients, after the earthquake, there were over 2,000 people on the grounds," he said.

The 18-year-old says he had no medical experience or training. But, with so many people to help, he was thrown in the mix.

"I got things that the doctors needed," he said. "I checked on the nurses. I got to scrub in on a surgery and help Dr. Mack."

A procedure that sticks out most in his mind is an unexpected C-section.

"It was amazing," he said. "It was a 10-pound baby!"

A baby girl, bringing life back to the death-ridden county. Kegarise calls it an inspiration for his own future.

"I know that I want to be a doctor now more than anything," he said.

Today, Kegarise continues to serve in East Texas, volunteering to coach his three little brothers' little league team, the Rangers.

Kegarise's group stayed in Haiti for eight days. In that time period, they performed more than 30 surgeries. Kegarise says he has even stayed in touch with one of the patients he helped.

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