JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A 12-year-old boy loses his battle with Leukemia. But not before sharing one wish with his doctor.
Jonathan Soud loved to travel and next on his list of places to visit was Mongolia. He passed away in September of 2010, sending Doctor Eric Sandler to the the country, in his place.
"Here we use disposable bone marrow needles," said Dr. Soud, Chief Hematology/Oncology doctor at Nemours Children's Clinic. "There they use these three needles that they've been using for the last 10 years now. They sterilize them each time. But what happens is they become very dull."
Dr. Sandler gave first Coast News an eye opening look into medical practices in Mongolia. It's a country that borders Russia to the north and China to the south, east and west. A place many of us rarely think about. But Dr. Sandler will soon take trip from Jacksonville, Florida, to the capital of Ulaanbaatar. With medical tools in hand, and a staff of specialists to help educate. And it's all thanks to his former patient, Jonathan Soud.
"One day I was giving Jonathan chemotherapy, and I asked what he liked to do," said Dr. Sandler. "And he said he loves to travel. I asked where he would like to go and he said Mongolia."
It turns out Dr. Sandler had some connections there. And with the help of Jonathan's father, who set up a fund with the Wolfson Children's Hospital in his memory, the trip became a reality.
Dr. Sandler first took a trip to Mongolia back in July of 2012. This time around they're going with more doctors to help teach the latest practices for things like treating cancer and blood disorders in children.
"I hope and think he's proud that he as able to inspire all of this," said Dr. Sandler. "And I know it's important to his family too. That Jonathan keeps on living through these things that we do."
Dr. Sandler and his team will take off on a 25 hour flight Saturday, August 24th. They'll stay in Mongolia for two weeks.
He hopes to make this an annual trip to serve children there. If you would like to donate to help make more trips possible, call 904-202-2919.