As he stood on a Baltimore dock in a glorious March sun, U.S. Navy
Cmdr. Tim Donahue remembered the Haitians. The 44 patients with
spinal-cord injuries, two of whom broke their necks. The 23-year-old
underwent 14 surgeries in 38 days to save her leg. The 16 adults and 13
children who were too sick or injured to be saved. Minutes earlier,
Donahue had disembarked from the USNS Comfort, the massive and
white hospital ship that pulled into its home port last week, two
months after departing for its medical mission to Haiti. Donahue, the
Comfort’s director of surgery, and his colleagues treated some
men, women, and children injured in the 7.0 earthquake that decimated
Port-au-Prince and surrounding areas. They rescued lives, they reunited
parents and children, they brought hope to the sickest patients. “It
was probably the most rewarding thing I’ve done in the Navy,” he said.
It is the best kind of military mission. For two months, Navy and civilian doct...