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North Texas doctor returns from medical mission in Gaza

North Texas doctor returns from Gaza
North Texas doctor returns from Gaza 02:37

COPPELL — It's been six months since the Hamas terrorist group attacked Israel on October 7 killing 1200 people and triggering an all-out war in the Gaza Strip. Since then more than 33,000 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza according to the Hamas-run Ministry of Health, which does not distinguish between civilian and combatant deaths. 

Here in North Texas, emergency medicine physician Dr. Bilal Piracha has every medical supply he could ever need at his disposal. 

But just last month he traveled to Gaza to help in a hospital there where some lifesaving medical supplies are nearly impossible to find. 

"Many patients will die because of the lack of basic necessities and supplies," said Piracha. 

In March, Piracha, who owns America First Urgent Care in Coppell, traveled to Gaza on a volunteer medical mission with the organization Med Global.  

"When I was about to go, I was talking to my cousin [who] is just starting psychiatry residency and she said that that is the thing, why we become doctors. And I said, 'Yes that's exactly what it is,'" said Piracha. 

He and another doctor from North Texas were part of a medical mission to Gaza where according to the World Health Organization less than a third of hospitals in Gaza are functioning. Many hospitals have been damaged in airstrikes. 

Twenty-four hours a day he worked in the emergency room at a hospital in Central Gaza.

"That hospital is a 200-bed hospital, [it] used to be a 200-bed hospital now there is 700 beds going around everywhere," said Piracha.

Piracha and other doctors there would often treat patients with severe injuries on the floor of the ER, with the sounds of war not far away.

"It was like a normal thing to continuously hear the explosions going on the gunshots machine guns," said Piracha.  

He worked day in and day out saving lives while also teaching young doctors in the facility.

"The feeling that we are being of some help; at the same time the feeling of being helpless when you are not able to save the dying kids and women and young girls and boys, " said Piracha. "But at the same time, it was pretty inspiring to see the people there. They will be like always smiling, always positive." 

He's back in North Texas now but the people he met there are never far from his mind.

"There is a feeling of guilt," said Piracha. "I just said goodbye and I came back to my good life and they are still suffering."

He hopes by sharing their story he can help end their suffering. 

"Stand up to save the people of Gaza, by sending your doctors your donations, but most importantly standing up to stop this war right now," said Piracha.  

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