Columbus doctor and son travel to treat patients in Iraq

COLUMBUS, Ga. — A pair of doctors from Columbus traveled to Iraq on a medical mission earlier this year. What made it even more special, the doctors are father and son.

It’s not often that you get to hear a presentation from a pair of doctors who are father and son. Folks at St. Francis Hospital got such a treat last week.

When Orthopedic Surgeon Lee McCluskey and his son, Dr. Leland McCluskey, Jr. Talked about their recent medical mission trip to Iraq. They left in late January and spent over two weeks in war-torn city of Mosul. That’s where the Christian-based organization Samaritan’s purse has a field hospital.

“Samaritan’s Purse has been in country in Iraq for several years doing food distribution and other ministries. But the medical ministry came as a result of the fighting in Mosul,” says Dr. Leland McCluskey.

The McCluskeys thought they would be treating military patients, but that wasn’t the case.

“Most of them were women and children, citizens that were in Mosul and were injured either as human shields or were just injured from mortar wounds where ISIS had targeted that group of people,” says Dr. Lee McCluskey.

Lee says the experience opened up the door to friendship.

“We had some really sweet times just being able to interact with the patients and people we worked with over there. It was just a big opportunity to really show God’s love to people,” says Dr. Lee McCluskey.

The McCluskeys have been back now for about three months, and it’s given them time to reflect.

“It changed me in that I’m much more grateful for just how safe we are here in the U.S. We don’t have to drive down the road and worry about an IED going off or a mortar hitting our house,” says Dr. Leland McCluskey.

Leland says the chance to go on this mission trip with his dad was one he’ll cherish the rest of his life.

“Dad has been a better example than I could ever imagine. He’s not to mention a great orthopedic surgeon, but as a father and a Christian he’s a great mentor to me as well. So I know I have big shoes to fill. I would like to continue to do the same work that he is doing overseas when I’m done with my training,” says Dr. Leland McCluskey.

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