Dr. Dan Bachler, a 2012 graduate of Cleveland Chiropractic College, knew long before he completed his Doctor of Chiropractic degree that he would use his healing hands for more than just a livelihood. The seed was actually planted nearly four years before he enrolled at CCC, when a chance meeting set a new course for his life and career.
“I met James Adams, a native Haitian, through my church eight years ago, and we hit it off immediately,” Bachler said. “He is the founder and executive director of One Heart Ministries International (OHMI). Later, as I entered CCC, I made a commitment to myself that international missions would be one of the ways I would give back to my profession after graduation. OMHI was a natural fit.”
Less than six months removed from earning his degree, Bachler made good on that commitment by traveling to Haiti in September for 10 days as part of an OMHI-sponsored mission trip. While in Port-au-Prince, he treated more than 500 patients during clinics he led over the course of seven days.
“Literally, 99.9 percent of the people I encountered had never heard of chiropractic,” Bachler, who was the only chiropractor on the trip, said. “I found out through my interpreter that they called me the ‘Bone Doctor!’ I saw patients come in with extreme pain and severely restricted range of motion, limping, grimacing, some walking with canes. Then, after treatment, they were smiling, laughing and no longer in pain. The proof was that they would return the next day with their friends and neighbors wanting the Bone Doctor. They waited in line hours to see me. I was, and still am, very humbled by this show of support.”
Bachler spent four days providing care in a public clinic, two days at an orphanage and one day at a local church. On another day, Bachler joined other missionaries in a feeding program, passing out hundreds of pounds of rice, beans and cooking oil. He described the conditions of the area as “destitute” and “poverty-ridden.”
“The average Haitian earns less than a dollar a day,” Bachler explained. “Despite this, the people were awesome! They were very happy and extremely hospitable. Most of them had such a sense of humor and the vast majority had a positive attitude that belied their environment.”
The most memorable moment of the trip for Bachler came when he was treating a three-year-old girl named Nancy. She was six months old when the catastrophic magnitude 7.0 earthquake hit in January 2010. Debris had fallen on her, causing severe injuries to her ankles.
“She had a noticeable limp when she came in, and I was told she had had constant pain since the earthquake,” Bachler said. “I adjusted both ankles and taped them. I asked her to walk around the table. As she got to the other side, she said something to her Mom in Creole and her Mom started crying. She then ran around to me and hugged my leg, saying, ‘Mesi, Mesi!’ (‘Thank You, Thank You!’). The translator said that Nancy had told her mom: “It doesn’t hurt anymore!” At that point, I was overtaken with emotion and started crying too.”
Bachler said he was truly blessed to be a part of the mission in Haiti, stating that it had an “incredible impact on my life and career.” Furthermore, he encouraged his colleagues and current students at CCC to explore opportunities to serve as missionaries at some point during their careers.
“I’d recommend everyone do something like this, the earlier the better,” Bachler said. “It gives you a world view and perspective that will change your life and practice forever.”
OMHI has been serving the nation of Haiti since 2002. The organization is committed to aiding in the country’s revival and restoration through programs that have provided food and clothing for thousands. In addition, OMHI works with several orphanages helping facilitate medical care. The long-term vision is to build a permanent clinic that would staff chiropractors, medical doctors, dentists and physical therapists on a rotating basis.
Bachler’s practice is located at 601-A NW O’Brien Rd. in Lee’s Summit, Mo. He can be reached via email at email@example.com or by calling (816) 269-0251.