Punta Gorda doctor treats patients in Cambodia on mission trip

A local doctor traveled almost 10,000 miles away from home to volunteer his services to people in desperate need of them.

Dr. Jorge Cabrera of Punta Gorda went on a week-long mission trip to Cambodia, where he treated patients.

“It was perfect. The timing was perfect,” said Cabrera, an American Board of Family Medicine certified bariatric medicine specialist. “It’s helping out people over in Cambodia. There’s an island called Koh Rong that’s off the island.”

Cabrera said people living on Koh Rong have little access to medical care.

“They have things like dengue, malaria, parasitic infections,” Cabrera said.

While Dr. Cabrera and the team he worked with cared for patients, they also care about leaving a lasting impact.

“The idea is to come in there and do some acute medical care and then do some sustainability as well,” Cabrera said. “So we have education pieces, pieces with nutrition as well that helps out with the whole island.”

As they helped the whole island, Cabrera and one other professional were the only physicians on the mission.

“We were seeing over 100 patients a day,” Cabrera said. “It was quite taxing. It’s not an easy job to do it when you’re volunteering.”

This was the first overseas experience Cabrera had and he said he’s ready to do it again. Next, he hopes to go on a mission trip to Africa or Central America.

With that hard work comes positive reactions and thanks from the patients.

“For just even helping them out a little bit,” Cabrera said.

Reporter:Stephanie Byrne
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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