Taiwan Church News
October 7 - October 13, 2013
Church Ministry News
Dr Samuel Noordhoff, An Medical Missionary Having Served Taiwan 40 Years, Came Back To Visit Old Friends
Reported by Lin Yi-ying
Dr Samuel Noordhoff, respectfully called "Taiwan's Schwitzer", at the invitation by Noordhoff Craniofacial Foundation, came back Taiwan to visit his old friends from September 21 to October 4th. Together with his wife, Lucy Noordhoff, they attended a press conference for a charity award event - "Smile to Live", and reunited with about 200 craniofacial patients who had been operated by Dr Noordhoff.
As the age of Noordhoff is 86 years old and diagnosed with Parkinson disease, all his Taiwan close friends knew that this long trip was a great pressure to his vulnerable health. So, when Noordhoff still spoke a fluent Taiwanese, hoping this trip may not be the last coming back to Taiwan. All his acquaintance knew in heart that this trip might be the last chance to see him here.
Noordhoff also met his last patient in craniofacial operation, Hwang Yu-lung, who was still an infant 14 years ago. Hwang paid his salute and respect to Noordhoff for giving him a new life, saving him from various kinds of discrimination. When Noordhoff made a public speech, he spoke in a fluent Taiwanese to praise current advance of Taiwan's medicare having reached a same level like USA. But, regarding the phenomenon that a quarter of Taiwanese doctors engaged in cosmetics surgery, he criticized: "Make money is not wrong, but values should hold on!" Noordhoff insisted that a good craniofacial operation can rebuild a child's life, its value will always help this patient to walk in confidence in the coming 60 or 70 years. Although the process of craniofacial operaion is hard and difficult, it is full of value and meaning.
Noordhoff came to Taiwan as a medical missionary on September 28, 1959. Six months later, he succeeded the post of the Superintendent of Mackay Memorial Hospital(MMH). From 1960 to 1975, during his service in MMH, he launched a series of modernization in medical equipment, services, physician training, and talent recruitment. He established the Noordhoff Craniofacial Foundation in 1989. Since then, together with good medicare and professional psychological treatment, it is estimated over 25,000 children with craniofacial problems received operations through this Foundation. In 1999, Noordhoff was awarded "Great Purple Medal" from President Lee Teng-hui to honor his contribution to Taiwan. In the same year, he retired and returned back to USA.
Translated by Peter Wolfe
Dr Samuel Noordhoff (Middle) and Lucy Noordhoff(right), together with Dr Yang Yuh-cheng(Left) who is current Superintendent of Mackay Memorial Hospital
Photo by Mackay Memorial Hospital