A shipment of more than 120 unused hospital beds and 40 wheelchairs from Sweet Brook Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in Williamstown is making its way to Guatemala City’s Hospital General San Juan de Dios. 

The unused medical equipment, loaded on to two trucks Monday afternoon with the help of volunteers and workers from Connors Brothers Moving & Storage, is finding a new home where it can be used again after Dr. Robert A. Micley, of North Adams, set out to coordinate the donation. 

Sweet Brook closed in July 2020 after the former owners, SB Operating Co. LLC, were forced to pay the state $110,000 to settle allegations of inadequate care and barred from owning or operating any long-term care facility in Massachusetts for 10 years. The building is currently for sale and still holding medical equipment. 

Micley recruited Dr. Fernando Ponce, a native of Guatemala, to help. Others joined the effort, like retired doctors Eric White and Paul J. Donovan, along with John Blake, Dr. Robert A. Sills and local contractors Wayne Bush, Jim Galusha and Richard Chenail. 

Oxford Finance, which holds Sweet Brook’s assets, agreed to donate the equipment. Two charities, the Order of Malta and Food for the Poor, agreed to underwrite the shipping costs from Williamstown to Guatemala City by truck and boat. 

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Photojournalist

Ben Garver has been photographing the Berkshire hills and people for The Eagle since 1994. In his spare time, Garver enjoys hiking and biking with his Australian cattle dog, Cheyenne.