Published Friday, Sept. 12, 1997
Mother Teresa inspired local doctor
By Julie Hannon
Herald Staff Writer
An Ohio cardiologist who once treated and worked alongside Mother Teresa, said he will not let the time she spent with him go in vain.
``She was a pencil in God's hand and He wrote beautifully with her,'' said Dr. Paul Wright, a Brookfield resident with offices in Warren and Youngstown.
``She saw the face of Christ in every person she met, in the faces of lepers and the poorest of the poor. She was the most powerful woman in the world because she used love and compassion in all she did.''
Wright, who first met Mother Teresa a decade ago while working in a medical clinic in San Joaquin, Mexico, had the chance to learn from and assist Mother Teresa in her visits to New York City and Washington, D.C. He even worked alongside her in Calcutta at her personal invitation.
But it was after his very first encounter with the recently deceased nun he fondly calls Mother that Wright decided he could do something in his own life that would aid the efforts of the woman he deemed as the only truly selfless person in the world.
Following his trip to Mexico nearly 10 years ago, Wright came back to Brookfield with a mission. With the help of his father, S. Paul Wright, former superintendent of Girard and Brookfield schools, he started a program he dubbed ``Poorest of the Poor'' after Mother Teresa's own order.
``What began as 50 boxes of clothing and medical supplies gathered from relatives and friends some 10 years ago, mushroomed into 550,000 pounds of clothes and medical supplies this year,'' said Wright's father.
Each year, the donations are distributed free of charge by U.S. Air Force planes stationed at the Youngstown-Warren Regional Airbase to Appalachia, Calcutta, El Salvador and Guatemala.
``It was his idea but because he's so busy and I'm retired, I offered to help and that's when the Rotarians got involved,'' said S. Paul.
Forty-two Rotary clubs in Ohio and 10 in Pennsylvania have helped in the success of the program, said Wright's father. Mother Teresa was even personally involved in the effort, he said.
``She is still with us,'' said Dr. Wright, who received word of Mother Teresa's death by fax from an Indian businessman hours before it hit national news last Friday.
``Last week she was in India, now she is with all of us. She waited all of her life to meet her Jesus, and now her wish has come true. I have been in contact with her sisters, and while we will all miss her terribly, the fact that she is at peace has enabled them to accept that she's gone.''
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Updated Sept. 12, 1997
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