Returning to Haiti is beginning to feel like going home. I think when you pour your heart out somewhere, it is hard not to become very attached to a people and a place. I count the days until my wife can be with me here, then life will be complete.
It has been a very good week. It has been a very busy week! Being the ambulance driver, the on call resource for the residents that staff our ER at night, and distributing medications across North Haiti can keep a person very busy. I was again reminded of how easily death is accepted here this week after picking up two severely injured motorcycle accident victims and transporting them to the nearest government hospital's emergency room. Both had severe head injuries; but both appeared to be struggling to live as we delivered them there. Unfortunately the system here requires that any medications a patient needs, must be purchased by the patient or their family - Obviously impossible in this case. As Laurie Kelley, Dr Maklin, and I rushed around the hospital begging and borrowing the needed meds and supplies, we were crushed when we returned to find of the men breathing his last breaths. Very disappointing.
While at the hospital, we were approached by a young lady visiting from North Carolina with another medical mission team. Obviously distraught, she told us the story of a four year old little boy in the pediatric ward that had been abandoned there. As we visited him we found that he appears to have mild CP, is very malnourished, and had not been receiving good care as he was not an "official" patient. We spoke with the medical staff, guaranteeing payment for his care until we can find a home for him. A good friend of mine, Abraham, is a master at locating difficult placements for orphans here in Haiti. He is meeting me at the hospital tomorrow morning to assist with this. Please say a prayer for Michael.
I had some very good meetings with Laurie Kelley, founder of Save One Life, during her visit here this week. I am thrilled to tell you that we are going to be working alongside a wonderful Haitian physician, Dr. Eugene Maklin, in developing a program to identify and support hemophilia patients in Haiti. As I said earlier, death is far too easily accepted in Haiti. I imagine that as we work to "Save One Life" with this program, it will result in the saving of many lives of Haitians with bleeding disorders, that have just been allowed to die up until now. Watch for progress updates on this work beginning this week.
Very busy, but so very, very rewarding. If you know of any surgeons interested in visiting Haiti, please pass along my contact information. We are desperate for surgical teams anytime over the next few months.
Grace and peace,