RALEIGH, N.C.--()--Niki Reese was nervous. The air around the Baghdad airport was filled with smoke and sand. For a foreigner, especially a blonde American girl, travel to Iraq was still extremely risky. Accompanied by the TigerSwan CEO and the TigerSwan security team, she knew she was protected by the best. She was instructed to put on a helmet and body armor as she boarded one of TigerSwan’s armored vehicles. The trauma kits were pointed out to her as they began the route down one of the most dangerous roads in the world.
“Niki was truly impressive; not only with her extensive medical knowledge, but in the compassion she displayed towards the members of the Iraqi community.”
Since she was a little girl, Niki’s dream was to travel the world and practice medicine. Thanks to TigerSwan, a North Carolina-based global stability company with offices around the world, her dream has become a reality. Her understanding of personal security has forever changed.
Through its Baghdad office, TigerSwan helped Niki, a certified Physician Associate specializing in Orthopedic Trauma and Spine Surgery, fulfill her humanitarian mission to provide medical evaluations to the women and children of Baghdad. TigerSwan, operated by former members of the U.S. Army's DELTA FORCE, provides security for the Iraqi Mine-Unexploded Ordinance Clearing Organization, a U.S. State Department funded NGO (non-governmental organization) that works to clear munitions and mines across the country.
Upon arrival in Baghdad, Niki was partnered with TigerSwan’s VP of Middle East operations, an ex-special forces medic whose name cannot be revealed due to security reasons. In preparation for the visit, the VP had prepared a makeshift clinic for her. Every moment throughout her entire visit to Iraq, Niki experienced first-hand, the elite security tactics for which TigerSwan is known.
“I had no idea how much was involved in the security that TigerSwan provides, and I was very grateful for all the hard work that was put into making this happen,” said Niki. “It was very emotional for me to see the lines of people waiting outside the clinic to see me before we had even opened the clinic.”
“As members of the Iraqi community, we were extremely proud to be able to offer these services to so many in need,” said TigerSwan’s VP of Middle East Operations. “Niki was truly impressive; not only with her extensive medical knowledge, but in the compassion she displayed towards the members of the Iraqi community.”
Many of the women and children treated by Niki were victims of mines and other weapons of war. Many were simply the victims of a devastated country where basic healthcare is not available to everyone. For two days straight, Niki treated patients with everything from the common cold to the loss of limbs. Local physicians waited in line to ask her opinion on MRI’s and CT scans. Not only were the Iraqi people welcoming, but they were visibly grateful for her compassion and care.
With TigerSwan’s help they were able to secure medications for sick children whose families had no means to obtain them. Niki took measurements for people in need of prosthetic arms and legs. She gave the children teddy bears, receiving hugs and joyful smiles in return.
“There were moments when tears streamed down my face as I was treating people and saw how much need there was,” said Niki. “I realized how blessed I am to live in a country with a strong healthcare system.”
Niki is currently working to locate a company to provide prosthetic limbs to the innocent victims of war. With the help of TigerSwan, she plans to return to Baghdad to deliver them, along with her personal message of compassion, hope and courage.
Founded in 2007 by former members of the U.S. Army’s elite special operations unit, “Delta Force,” TigerSwan is a Service-Disabled Veteran Owned company specializing in corporate solutions across the entire spectrum of Vulnerability Management.
About Spine & Orthopedic Center: Niki’s humanitarian mission was also made possible, in part, by her employer at the time, Dr. Ashish K. Sahai, who granted Niki the time off from her duties as a surgical PA with his practice so that she could complete here trip. Dr. Sahai is a spine surgeon specializing in minimally invasive procedures, Failed Back Syndrome, Failed Laser Spine Surgery, the X-Stop, and Comprehensive Spinal Care. Based in Boca Raton, Fla., Dr. Sahai received advanced spine training at Stanford University and is co-founder of Spine & Orthopedic Center.