Florida doctor leading medical relief effort to Bahama's Turtle Cay

Former Volusia County medical director was there for Katrina in 2005

Dr. John Shedd is collecting donations and supplies to deliver to the Bahamas.

The former medical director for Volusia County served as part of the Federal Emergency Management Agency medical relief team in the Bahama’s Turtle Cay (Key) following the destruction left by Hurricane Katrina in August 2005.

Now that Hurricane Dorian has devastated the Bahamas, Dr. John Shedd is going back, leading a sweeping effort to bring medical supply packages onto the islands.

Shedd plans to transport 500 pounds of medical supplies and medicine using a small amphibious plane.

“As you can imagine, people are extremely desperate," Shedd said. “To land a helicopter might be extremely difficult; we’re doing our best to get supplies where needed.”

Shedd, who served as a physician on the tiny three-mile island for six years, described Hurricane Dorian’s impact as “chilling.”

“My reaction to what I have seen is like Katrina on a smaller but more devastating level," he said. “The anxiety down there is terrible, the heat is horrendous, the bugs are terrible (and) they have no shelter.”

Shedd plans on flying supplies for 1,000 people with more expected over the coming weeks and months.

The first shipment of medical supplies going to Green Turtle Cay.

He said he has many people working behind the scenes to gather more medical supplies and offer their skills as part of a team of physicians similar to the FEMA medical teams from 2005.

“Our biggest issue is getting something in there and safely,” he said. “The question is how will these people support themselves five, 10 years from now, if tourism is not a way to generate resources.”

Shedd is hoping to collect $100,000 to help the victims of the tiny island using a GoFundMe account for the Green Turtle Cay Hurricane Recovery Fund. To donate, click here.

About the Author:

News 6’s Emmy Award-winning Investigative Reporter Mike Holfeld has made Central Florida history with major investigations that have led to new policies, legislative proposals and even -- state and national laws. If you have an issue or story idea, call Mike's office at 407-521-1322.