Students, staff and faculty members from Life Chiropractic College West traveled to the Kingdom of Tonga in December 2018 to provide free chiropractic care to the public.
Dr. Ron Oberstein, President of the San Francisco Bay Area college; Dr. Scott Donaldson, Vice President of Clinical Operations; and Life West Athletic Director Adriaan Ferris brought a small team of DCs and student interns to Nuku’alofa to serve and educate the community for three days.
More than 1,600 patients were helped during the three-day service trip. On social media, members of the crew shared stories from the experiences of the people they served.
“A one-year-old slept through the night for the first time after his first adjustment,” Dr. Oberstein shared in an Instagram post. “The second adjustment, he held his head up for the very first time.”
Visit our Life West Facebook page for our full Tonga Service Trip album.
The love and care that drives service trips for Life West was transformative for the patients as well as the students and doctors who experienced the journey.
“The students come down to a nation that desperately needs care, and some of the cases they’ve never seen before were beneficial for their own development as a future chiropractor,” Ferris said. “The people of Tonga are beautiful people, they are very humble, and they don’t have much. For us to live by our mission statement of creating a brighter future for humanity though chiropractic care is exciting for Life West.”
Dr. Saia Piukala, Tonga’s health minister, made the service trip possible when he connected with Dr. Oberstein in July during his visit to the Life West campus in Hayward, California.
Dr. Oberstein has plans to return to Tonga in the near future.
“Our plan is to be here in the springtime–sometime around March or April, and we’ll be back again in June or July, then back again in the fall – sometime around September, October. Those should be the three times we hope to do every year; be able to come back and take care of the people here,” he said in an interview with Radio & TV Tonga.