Saturday, February 27, 2010
Friday, February 26, 2010
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!
Posted by Cosmin at 7:07 PM
Posted by Michael at 3:23 PM
Thursday, February 25, 2010
Posted by Cosmin at 7:11 PM
Posted by Michael at 11:35 AM
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Posted by Cosmin at 4:46 PM
While walking by the reception desk at the hospital today Cosmin found our friend here watching a music video on his cell phone.
Posted by Michael at 4:06 PM
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
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:
Posted by Cosmin at 12:44 PM
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.
Posted by Michael at 11:52 AM
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.
Posted by Cosmin at 11:50 AM
Sunday, February 21, 2010
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.
Posted by Michael at 2:48 PM
Posted by Cosmin at 2:46 PM
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.
Posted by Michael at 1:57 PM
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.
Posted by Michael at 1:52 PM
Saturday, February 20, 2010
Friday, February 19, 2010
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.
Posted by Cosmin at 5:51 PM
While on an excursion across the street from the hospital we came across these two dentists working underneath some tall trees. Keith Canwell and Ted Fleig from ACTS World Relief were busy seeing patients and pulling out their teeth. Today’s amount: 45! And there were lots of patients still waiting to see them.
At the age of 89, Dr. Fleig lays the patient’s head on his leg and starts working. These two dentists did some impressive work out there by the trees. We thought their location was especially interesting.
Posted by Cosmin at 5:45 PM
Thursday, February 18, 2010
The day starts with a morning meeting at 7:30am in front of the hospital.
Its only early morning, but some medical volunteers have worked all night and are taking advantage of an empty air mattress.
We headed out to a neighboring University Campus where over 15.000 people live. A mass vaccination was happening.
At the University we found pastor Trofort, a very friendly US Navy SDA chaplain.
Posted by Cosmin at 4:02 PM
I came across an interesting scene this afternoon. While I was passing the hospital chapel I saw a bunch of young volunteers peeking through some small holes in the wall anxiously awaiting their name to be called out by the chaplain.
One young man told me that the chaplain is calling out names of selected volunteers who had helped out throughout the day and that they would receive food packages. Around twenty of them were concentrating and listening for their name to be called out.
Once they heard their name being called out, they stormed through the door of the chapel and received an US Military MRE (Meal Ready to Eat).
What an experience to watch this food lottery!
Posted by Cosmin at 3:48 PM