There already was a worldwide shortage of the tetanus vaccine and now there was sky high demand for it in Haiti. Our normal pharmaceutical companies couldn’t get any for us. So, we turned to the 6 degrees of separation for help.
You know what the 6 degrees are, don’t you? They are the theory that every person in the world is connected to every other person in the world by no more than 6 degrees of separation. So for instance, I have a past banking customer who met Elton John. Elton John has performed for the Queen of England, so in reality, I’m only four degrees from the Queen of England.
It turns out that one of our adoptive moms who lives in Nevada has a friend she went to college with that they keep in touch quite frequently. That friend is in the medical equipment business. That friend has a friend who is a pharmaceutical rep (aka a professional and legal drug dealer.) The pharmaceutical rep lives in San Francisco. One calls the next, the next calls the next. Before long, I get a call back, “Hey Tom, this is “John” and I heard that you might need to get some medicine to Haiti.”
Think the story ends happily from there? Not so fast…
The pharmacy rep worked very hard at finding tetanus vaccines from his normal “sources” and wasn’t able to find any. Finally, he was able to locate an overseas manufacturer who could allocate 2,000 doses to “John’s” company, but only if they could get a written order from a doctor in the United States requesting it and guaranteeing payment for it.
John went to one of his local pediatricians that he works with, explained the situation and the need and she willingly placed the order.
Now imagine how that conversation went, “Dr. Smith, I need you to do me a favor. There’s this orphanage in Haiti that I’ve never met that is run by people I’ve never met but a friend of a friend knows them. They need you to submit an order for 2,000 tetanus vaccines from _______ company. (Estimated cost- $20,000) and guarantee that you’ll pay for it – but don’t worry they’ll reimburse you for it.”
Excuse me but a lot of people would think more than twice about that offer. But she didn’t. Because God was at work.