The Improbable American

The Improbable American

Without a college degree or medical credentials, Todd Shea founded and directs a charity hospital in northern Pakistan. (NYT)

Todd Shea says his addictive personality is what helps him get things done. His addiction used to take the form of drugs, but since the events of Sept. 11, 2001, Shea became addicted to rescue efforts.

He volunteered carrying meals to firefighters at Ground Zero, went to Sri Lanka after the 2004 Tsunami, to New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, and finally to Pakistan after the devastating earthquake in 2006. He’s lived in Pakistan ever since and established a charity hospital called Comprehensive Disaster Relief Services in Chikar, Kashmir.

Shea has no medical background but has 38 employees, including a young doctor he made special efforts to recruit to this remote northern region of Pakistan. Over 100,000 patients were seen at the clinic in 2008, filling a void in the region’s healthcare needs for the first time in many years.

This New York Times video profiles burly, light-hearted Shea at work in this most unlikely of places. He chuckles as he admits he’s not the best-qualified person for the job, but he’s the one who is there.

CHANNEL: New York Times

Length: 9:55

By Adam B. Ellick


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