Monday, July 12, 2010

6 Months Later...

It has been six months since the earthquake and the need still continues. Some experts are predicting that it could take up to 20 years to remove all of the rubble. The U.N. estimates that 1.5 million Haitians are currently living in camps. Loma Linda University and AHI continue their work with Hopital Adventiste d'Haiti.

"Out of the Rubble" premiered at the General Conference session in Atlanta, GA. It will be making it's broadcast premier later this year on KVCR. We're also working on a "Sebastien cut", which will focus more on our friend Sebastien. We're hoping to send that version off to film festivals. Until then please continue to share "Out of the Rubble".

Out of the Rubble from Loma Linda University on Vimeo.

Friday, June 25, 2010

"Out of the Rubble"

Our half-hour version of "Out of the Rubble" is done. Please share it.

Out of the Rubble from Loma Linda University on Vimeo.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Trailer is ready

We've finished the trailer for the documentary. Pass it on.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Mass immunization campaign in Haiti

On February 18, 2010 we were witness to a large mass immunization campaign at the Haitian Adventist University in Port-au-Prince where over 20.000 people live in tents temporary after the earthquake. The campaign was arranged by ADRA, US Navy, US Marines and the US Public Health Service.

Best viewed in 720p HD!

Earthquake Aftermath: Sebastien

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

This is just one of 1600 video clips

Best viewed in 720p HD!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Hopes and Fears...

“Nothing is yet in its true form."
--C.S. Lewis, Till We Have Faces

The hope is that one day, perhaps thirty years from now, Haitians will be able to look back and see the devastating earthquake of 2010 as a positive turning point for their country. A time when the world community rose up, took a stand against poverty and collectively said that we will not allow over 200,000 people to die from an earthquake.

I don’t think this is going to be the reality. From what I saw and heard it seems as though it is perfectly acceptable to return Haiti to the state it was in pre-earthquake. Field hospitals are starting to leave, news crews are getting fewer and fewer, all the while many, many Haitians still do not have a roof over their head, access to clean water, food, a job, and proper sanitation seems to be nonexistent.

In the face of all of this the Haitian people are resilient if not hopeful. One person told me that they know they are not the first nation to deal with a natural disaster on this scale and they will not be the last. You have to wonder if coping with hurricanes and mudslides has somehow, in some small way, helped the Haitians deal with their current situation. When bodies are still decaying under the rubble six weeks after the earthquake, it’s hard to remain positive.

The people that I met in Haiti were wonderful, beautiful people. I don’t think I talked to a single person that is living in a house, has a job, or didn’t lose a family member in the quake. Even though they are hurting and don’t know what their immediate future might hold, there was some kind of hope there. It’s hard to figure out where that comes from, maybe it’s the spirit of the Haitian people or the many obstacles that they have had to overcome, but it’s there. Even if the world community fails the small island country of Haiti, I believe that small bit of hope will not die.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Day of Earthquake

We met a friend who took video the day of the earthquake and for the next few days. Below are a few still photos from that video, some of them are pretty graphic.

Monday, March 1, 2010

The Last Day in Haiti

Our last day ended up being like most last days, busy. Cosmin ended up going to a neighborhood where something like 90 percent of the homes were destroyed. Many dead bodies are still decaying under the rubble there.

Meanwhile I was with Sebastien’s Uncle and we found a driver and headed to the house where Sebastien was trapped for three days. That was really sobering. Standing there beside Sebastien’s Uncle knowing that his mother (Sebastien’s Grandmother) was dead under the rubble of the house in front of me. Looking at the house it’s hard to imagine that anyone survived.

Thanks to a tip from Dr. Archer, the medical director of the hospital, we found someone who had taken video the day of the earthquake and for the next three days. We got a copy of the footage and it is unbelievable. People are running around screaming, covered in dust, carrying people on their shoulders, dragging corpses out of the rubble, the streets are crowded, and it just goes on and on.

Our trip has been a good one. I think that we both hope that what we do can somehow positively effects the Haitian people. What do you do when people come up to you and ask if you can help them with the necessities of life. Water, food, shelter. These are things that many, many Haitians don’t have access to.

Now the edit begins. For the next few months we'll be editing the film, working out the story lines and reliving our experience everyday through our footage.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Femoral Nailing

Femoral Nailing surgery by Blake Stamper M.D. Orthopedist, Scott Nelson M.D. Orthopedist, Daniel Patton 4th year M.D. student, M. Antoine Louis-Jacques, M.D. Anesthesiology, Terra Lipuma – Surgical Tech, Lisa Dallman Surgical Nurse.

Friday, February 26, 2010

We were attacked tonight

These kids were looking for trouble tonight. Mike and I thought we should go outside for some "fresh" air after filming inside the hospital. The moment we stepped outside the hospital door around twenty kids approached us and wanted to hang around and play. We had lots of fun with these kids. When they see a camera they want you to take their picture and show it to them, over and over again!

Photos of the Day

Some portraits from this morning.

Hospital Signage

There was a short interpreter strike this morning

My earthquake disaster kit

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Sights from around the hospital

Here are some random photos from around the hospital from the last two days. Some volunteers have left, others have come. Life goes on at the hospital. More updates to follow soon.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

A photo of the hospital

Here is another photo of the Hopital Adventiste d'Haiti in Port-au-Prince.

We Are The World in Haiti

While walking by the reception desk at the hospital today Cosmin found our friend here watching a music video on his cell phone.

Dr. David Marks talks about Haiti

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Visit from the physical therapist

A physical therapist came to the hospital grounds today to check and change the amputee patients dressings. This nice Italian lady helped Sebastien change his dressing even though he more or less did the job himself at her big surprise and amusement. Here are some photos to tell this story:


The last few nights we’ve been having some aftershocks. A couple of 4.7s and at least one smaller quake. They seem to happen conveniently at times like 4:30 am or 1:45 am. These little quakes probably wouldn’t even make me roll over in bed back in California, but here in Haiti it’s a little different. The hospital building is strong and it’s been cleared by the US Army Corp of Engineers which makes me feel a bit better, but it’s still not a pleasant way to wake up.

It’s the sound of things shaking that wakes me up, then you start to hear people screaming. When these quakes hit a lot of the patients take off running wether they have IVs in or not. You’ll see mother’s grab their children and run for the exits. Understandably, anytime the earth starts to heave the Haitian people are very weary.

Last night Cosmin and I were hanging out with Sebastien. Just before we headed inside he told us he was worried that while we were asleep the building would fall down and hurt us. We tried to reassure him that we would be alright but I don’t think he was convinced.

Junior, one of the guys that we’ve been following is probably leaving the camp today. He lost part of his leg in the earthquake. He has two little kids, a young wife, and nowhere to live.

Dr. David Marks left for home this morning. He did some really, really amazing work down in the ER while here. If I ever get sick he’s the guy I want taking care of me. I don’t know how many lives he saved and impacted while he was here, but it is certainly a large number.

Cosmin and I at the front gate.

Things got a little unruly at the gate of the hospital yesterday.

Done with the treatment, what next?

Over the last weeks Mike and I have spent a good amount of time in the tent camps on the hospital grounds with the amputee patients. These patients have amazing stories to tell. Once we got to know them, they opened up and told us about their life here in Haiti. They tell us stories of the moments from the big earthquake and how they were trapped, trampled on and within seconds became homeless.
These stories are so horrific that they all seem unreal. Unfortunately, all the stories are real.

When we ask them about the hope for the future, their hope is lost. All they want to do is to survive the present. A young man came and sat next to me yesterday afternoon. Most of the time when people come over they are hungry or thirsty and want me to help them out with food or water. And sometimes they ask for money.
This young man did not ask for any of this. All he asked me was if I wanted to be his friend. He told me that he does not want to ask me for any of my money, just my friendship. Then he continued to tell me about how all his parents and relatives passed away during the earthquake and how he was a lone survivor. Now he is living on the streets and is looking for things to do or a job where he could earn some money to survive. He does not have a tent or a tarp and sleeps under the sky. He told me that he thinks something is now wrong with his head and just wanted to talk to me.

Every day we hear stories like this one. People carefully approach us and want to tell you their story. It seems like there is an urgent need for therapy down here in Haiti. And what makes things even more difficult is the traumatic stress people are experiencing with the still ongoing aftershocks on a daily basis. Waking up in the middle of the night by 4.7 rumbles and hearing people scream and running outside is not a pleasant experience.

The people of Haiti are suffering and have a long way to go to a “normal” life. Their stories need to be told and the rest of the world needs to help and support them for a long time to come. Their biggest fortune is their attitude and friendship. They are caring for each other and are always ready to help one another and the foreign volunteers that are here to help.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Sebastien's Interview

We spent most of today with Sebastien. This little 8-year-old has been through more in three days than most of us will go through in a lifetime. He's still got a smile on his face most of the time though, and I think we've found ourselves a new cameraman.

A sobering tour through downtown Port-au-Prince

Here are a few photos I took while driving through downtown Port-au-Prince the other day.

Last Night

We hung out in the ER for a few hours last night, but like usual when we’re there it’s slow. But, in peds an approximately 27-week-old baby came in. She was born in the camp outside the hospital, she still had some dirt on her. Every effort was made to transfer her to a medical facility that could provide life support but none could be found. The nurse on duty called a doctor in the US to get some advice, the doctor gave her a 50 percent chance of surviving the night. At 2am the baby was doing good but the mother was running a fever.

We made it until about 2am and then crashed. We had been up since about 5:30am Saturday morning.

Today the plan is to get some interviews, talk with a patient outside who lost his leg and has a wife and two small children, and spend some more time with Sebastien.

Night Shift

Tonight we’re going to hang out in the ER, the night shift. We’ll see how long we last (it was an early morning). We’re going to try and go on a transport or two. Seems like the transports usually go to the Miami Field Hospital or the USS Comfort. When they leave transports will probably come to this hospital. We’ll bring along Cosmin’s LED Cool Light and it could be a good low light test for the 7d.

This morning we rode along on an airport trip. One of the orthopedic surgeons was heading home. We drove through downtown, saw the palace and the devastation around Port-au-Prince.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Video Update

Friday, February 19, 2010

Impressions from around the hospital

Shipments of supplies arrive at the hospital. These boxes contained saline.

Patients out in the tents receiving food from the Supreme Master Ching Hai Chefs. This is a very popular event in the camp. This group of people makes an enormous effort preparing over 4000 meals for hospital staff and patients every day.

Patient identification chart in the ER.

Dr. Brock Cummings, MD Orthopedic Surgeon writing down memories from the day.

About This Blog

Documentary filmmakers working out of the Office of University Relations at Loma Linda University. We're making this documentary film on behalf of Adventist Health International and Loma Linda University.


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