St. Maarten Medical Center (SMMC) recently received a donation of Stryker stretchers to be used at the Emergency Room (ER) from Stichting Vrienden SMMC, a foundation in the Netherlands that was set up with the purpose of helping SMMC rebuild after hurricane Irma and providing long term support to the hospital.
Debby Dorsman, founder of Stichting Vrienden SMMC said “I started this foundation as a way to help SMMC after hurricane Irma. I was moved by seeing all the damage Irma caused and by hearing the stories from my friend SMMC Cardiologist Dr. Emiko Bird-Lake and felt the call to help wherever possible. I started a fundraiser on doneeractie.nl and when I looked at the fundraiser the next day, I was overwhelmed by all the donations and the media coverage. Through this I came in contact with Gauke Kooistra, Reinier van der Einde, Ferdie Tan and Ryan Plein who arranged for all of the donated medical equipment to be transported to SMMC on the Karel Doorman with help from the Dutch Ministry of Defense. After donating the equipment, we managed to raise €29,755 by way of a gospel benefit concert, various social media campaigns and doneeractie.nl”.
“A little before the storm hit, my colleagues Reinier, Ferdie, Ryan and I immediately started fundraising efforts. In a short period of time, hospitals, factories and pharmacies made ventilators, EKG machines, stretchers, vaccinations and other items that SMMC was in need of available. With the help of Debby Dorsman, Stichting Vrienden SMMC (Friends of SMMC Foundation) was started to with the goal of being able to provide immediate and long-term support to SMMC. Through these donations, SMMC was recently able to purchase Styker Stretchers for the Emergency Room (ER) to replace the old stretchers which were past their lifespan. We are extremely happy and grateful that we were able to contribute to the rebuilding of the hospital and to the people of St. Maarten”, said Gauke Kooistra.
SMMC’s Project Manager for the new Hospital Erika van der Horst who facilitated the donation of the stretchers and other medical equipment said “On behalf of SMMC, I would like to publicly thank Stichting Vrienden SMMC and everyone who donated to helping us rebuild after Irma. Stichting Vrienden SMMC has shown their continued support to SMMC years after Irma with this donation of stretchers which have come in handy during this COVID-19 pandemic and will be used even after we make the transition to the St. Maarten General Hospital”.