Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Hello from Haiti

We arrived in Haiti on Saturday, and Sunday was our first day of work. The patients that are here because of injuries that they sustained during the earthquake are staying in large tents (think MASH). We have been working in the tents with them. There is an indoor hospital that the more critial patients are staying in. There is a satelite pharmacy set up in one of the tents, and that is where I will be spending most of my time.

We learned that being discharged for these patients is stressful. Many of them have been here for several weeks if not months and they have no home to return to in Port-a-Prince. It is so sad to think that there is no home to look forward to returning to after they are well.

The RN in my group has been working with a patient that was trapped under rubble for 15 days. I am amazed at how well she is doing considering those circumstances. I think these Haitians must be made of tougher stuff than we Americans! I can't go for more than half an hour without water!

The physical therapist and occupational therapist from my group have been working with patients that had to have an amputation. Some of them are walking on one leg with a walker and some of them are learning how to walk with a prosthesis or crutches.

The organization that we are working with is funded by Catholic Charities.  Yesterday the Cardinal from Boston visited.  It was quite an event.  He arrived via helicopter.  They had Mass outdoors near the tents the earthquake victims are staying in.  The Mass was in Creole.  I watched part of it.  The patients sang for quite some time, which was lovely.

Today after work was done, I asked one of the interpreters to give us a tour of a cemetery near the hospital.  It was interesting.  Most of the graves were above ground, like what you see in New Orleans.  There was a goat in the cemetery to keep the grass under control.

Thanks for your prayers!

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