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Doctor with area ties works to aid island hospital

Mayville, N.D., native Dr. John Lyng is helping efforts to secure an ambulance for a hospital on a Caribbean island where he has been a volunteer. In September, fire destroyed part of St. Jude Hospital in Vieux Fort, St. Lucia, and it became appa...

Mayville, N.D., native Dr. John Lyng is helping efforts to secure an ambulance for a hospital on a Caribbean island where he has been a volunteer.

In September, fire destroyed part of St. Jude Hospital in Vieux Fort, St. Lucia, and it became apparent the hospital's ambulance needed to be replaced. Lyng, an emergency medicine doctor and registered paramedic, had gone to St. Lucia in 2008 and 2009 to volunteer, and ambulance runs were a major part of his duties and interest.

Now, Lyng and other "St. Lucia Alumni" have mobilized to raise funds, supplies and equipment for St. Jude Hospital, working with Hewannora Health Volunteers, a U.S.-based nonprofit organization.

The goal is to get a replacement ambulance for St. Jude, a news release said. As it happens, when Lyng was a college undergrad and later a medical student at UND, he worked as an EMT for the West Traill Ambulance Service. He learned that the WTAS, also a nonprofit, had a used ambulance it would sell to St. Jude for $5,000.

A Rotary Club in East Bremerton, Wash., sent $7,500 for the ambulance and other expenses. Lyng plans to drive the ambulance to West Palm Beach, Fla., in February, stopping en route to pick up supplies and equipment acquired by other St. Lucia Alumni. From West Palm Beach, it will be loaded onto a ship and transported to St. Lucia.

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Lyng also is trying to secure funds to assure that the used ambulance is in good mechanical condition, with new paint and new signs; for fuel, housing and food en route; and for airline tickets back home. A bonus would be to purchase a stretcher to make the ambulance more EMT/patient-friendly. The whole project will take about $25,000. As of Wednesday, Lyng said, $15,326.25 had been pledged.

For more information about Hewannora Health Volunteers, go to its Web site, http://hhv-stlucia.org/donate . To contact Lyng, e-mail StJudeAmbulance

Project@gmail.com .

Checks can be dropped at any Well Fargo Bank branch, wired electronically, or mailed to Hewanorra Healthcare Volunteers Ambulance Project, Wells Fargo Bank, Macalester Groveland Branch, 1827 Grand Ave., St. Paul, MN 55105.

Account number 1839172093 should be included on the memo line.

Lyng, who lives in Apple Valley, Minn., works for a contract group that provides emergency room coverage at Fairview Ridges Hospital in Burnsville, Minn. He graduated from Mayville-Portland-Clifford-Galesburg High School in 1997, from Mayville (N.D.) State University in 2001 and from UND School of Medicine in 2005. He completed a residency at SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, N.Y., in 2008 and then a one-year fellowship in EMS and disaster medicine.

Related Topics: MAYVILLE
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