Team of Tulsa doctors from In His Image heading to Philippines to assist with Typhoon Haiyan

TULSA - At 5 a.m. this morning, Tulsa International Airport was busier than usual.

Long lines were filled with Thanksgiving travelers, heading home after a weekend with friends and family.

Among the crowded lines, four Tulsa doctors from In His Image International, were heading to the Philippines. They will spend about a week moving from city-to-city in the country that was slammed by Typhoon Haiyan in early November.

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"We are meeting up with someone in Dallas that is from Florida," Dr. Val Tramonte, the team's lead doctor said. "Then we are meeting up with someone from Hawaii in Seoul (Korea). Then we are meeting up with another person from the Philippines in the Philippines."

Joining Tramonte from Tulsa are doctors Emanuel Dolph, Greg Lewis and Kris Crawford.

Once assembled, they will be apart of a seven-person medical team.

They will be on the ground working as part of In His Image, a Tulsa-based organization founded in 1989. It has been providing international medical outreach around the world since 2005.

Standing more than 8,000 miles from their final destination, Dr. Kris Crawford didn't know exactly how this trip would unfold.

"Not really sure what to expect as far as when we get there and hit the ground," Crawford said. "But certainly excited to be apart of this and see what the Lord is going to do while we are there."

At 5:20 a.m. the four Tulsans checked-in at the American Airlines desk and had their checked luggage hauled off.

Crawford recalled why he decided to go on this trip.

"I can remember seeing a news article with a picture of a child about my son's age," Crawford said. "My son is almost 4. I just remember him crying, amidst devastation and destruction and really feeling the Lord saying if this is your son crying and both you and his mom were dead, there was nothing left and someone could respond, you would hope they would."

These men have been on international medical trips before, but Tramonte said each one is unique.

"It is humbling," he said. "It really makes you aware of how much you have in your day-to-day life that you take for granted."

Along the way there will be surprises and moments where they must adapt. From encountering long holiday lines at the airport, to the uncertainty that comes with entering a country in ruins.

"We do have a rough itinerary," Crawford said. "Certainly trips like this are variable. So even today we were talking about a potential change. But we will mostly be in Tacloban and Ormoc."

At 5:33 a.m. the doctors passed through security and headed towards their gate.

At 7 a.m. American Airlines Flight 367 took off, and they were on their way to the Philippines, by way of Dallas and Seoul, Korea.

That is just two hours of the time these men will give up over nine days. Nine days of their lives, which might be life changing to those a world away.

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