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Photo indicates Salt Lake ophthalmologist Branson Call alive in Haiti

Published: Friday, Jan. 15 2010 12:00 a.m. MST

Dr. Branson Call of Salt Lake City may be the man seen in a wire service photo and featured in an MSNBC photo  gallery. (Msnbc.com) Dr. Branson Call of Salt Lake City may be the man seen in a wire service photo and featured in an MSNBC photo gallery. (Msnbc.com)

In the photo, the little girl stares back into the lens with big dark eyes that have seen, firsthand, the tragedy in Port-au-Prince.

Her face is cut, and a man's gloved hands tie a bandage around her head.

The picture, taken Wednesday by a wire service photographer, shows the devastation in Haiti in the aftermath of a catastrophic earthquake.

It also might be the only indication that a Utah doctor is still alive.

Though the photograph does not show the man's face, just his arms, his watch and the thinning hair on the top of his head, Bill Jackson is sure it his friend.

"It looks like Branson," said Jackson, a retired doctor who runs Deseret International in Provo.

Dr. Branson Call, a Salt Lake ophthalmologist, arrived in Haiti last Sunday on one of his regular training and humanitarian missions, Jackson said.

Call was supposed to fly to the Dominican Republic to meet up with his wife Tuesday when the 7.0 earthquake struck, Jackson said.

"At 5, when they had the quake, I was sure he'd be at the main hospital where we have our clinic," Jackson said. "That's a one-story, ground-floor facility and not likely to cause as much trouble. So I felt pretty good about that."

Still, Jackson said he and his family were worried for Call's safety.

"I felt that chances were good that he was all right, but one never knows," he said. "We haven't heard anything from him yet, but I have a hunch that he's very busy there."

Call, who specializes in traumatic eye injuries, travels to nearly a dozen countries each year for Deseret International.

"I can't think of a better person to have there," Jackson said. "He's a giant."

Jackson and other members of the humanitarian group plan to fly to Haiti Friday.

"I'm assuming he'll camp out at the main hospital. I'll see him then," he said.

e-mail: afalk@desnews.com

Copyright 2015, Deseret News Publishing Company