Lakeland orthopedic surgeon Dr. Glen Barden is still serving people in need at the age of 78.
- Dr. Glen Barden helped start Lakeland Volunteers in Medicine
- He has been to Iraq twice this year to treat victims
- Barden worked in tent 8 miles from Mosul
- LINK: Learn more about Dr. Barden, Samaritan's Purse
Barden had a long time career at Watson Clinic. He also helped to start the Lakeland Volunteers in Medicine clinic and he volunteers there as well.
Twice this year, he traveled to Iraq with the Christian relief organization Samaritan's Purse to treat victims from Mosul. Fighting was raging as coalition troops were trying to root ISIS out of the city.
Barden had previously traveled to Equador with Samaritan's purse to treat victims of an earthquake. But going to a war zone in Iraq could be dangerous. Barden said his wife wasn't too excited at first.
"She said, 'Why? Why do you think you have to need to do this?'" he said. She eventually warmed to the idea.
Barden performed his surgeries in a tent hospital inside huge barricades about eight miles from Mosul. He said he could hear bombs and motor rounds on many days.
"Yes, you might feel like that would be a busy day," he said.
Barden performed hundreds of surgeries during his visits. Some involved children injured in the fighting. The surgeries were different than his typical experience in Lakeland
"In regular orthopedics, most of the injures we'll see are motorcyclists, car accidents, the major portion will be closed injures," said Barden. "Whereas with the war wounds the majority are devastating soft tissue injures."
Barden downplayed the potential danger. "I'm just very thankful the Lord has allowed me to still have a brain that seems to and hands that seem to be stable and I still have that manner to still serve, and I give thanks for that."