Saturday, January 23, 2010

A Medical Mission

I'm currently staying with Tara and Troy Livesay. Tara and Troy are working with John and Beth McHoul at a small clinic that the setup last week to receive doctors, nurses and medical staff to respond to those wounded in the earthquake. Joanna, one of the nurses from the twin cities asked for my help and so I went... Alyn will testify what a commitment this was for me.

When I arrived, it was quite chaotic, doctors, nurses and patients spread throughout a private house. Patients lying or sitting outside within the walled yard. Patients in almost each room with one room becoming the pre-op, another the operating room and still another post-op.

I was asked to go with two paramedics from New York City that had arrived that morning. This was their first time to Haiti and their first ambulance run to the "Brothers or Charity" a small hospital in Simon Pele across from Cite Soleil and to the refugee camps. I think they were glad there was someone who had Haiti experience with them. I know I was glad there was someone with medical experience with me.

Our first stop was Brother's of Charity hospital. There was a triage room setup for patients that had severe injury that was beyond what this small hospital could handle. One by one we loaded the people into a large Tap Tap style truck. One many had multiple crush injury and was on the verge of going into shock. A woman was cooking when the earthquake struck and she fell into a large pot of boiling oil burning her arm and back. Many had broken limbs... some that just flopped from side to side.
Our makeshift ambulance.
Rhona and Chris, treating children onsite at the refugee camp.
Rhona setting up an IV for a man with a badly broken leg.

A concrete block had fallen on this little girl's face cutting her all the way down her forehead into her eyelid and below her eye. The paramedics said whoever had stitched her up did not do a very good job.
She will be scared for life.

When the paramedics unwrapped the bandage from this little girl's finger, they found he finger almost totally amputated... only held on by the skin. They gave her a small doll to play with while they completed the amputation on the truck. It is amazing how brave she was.

One by one, trip after trip we loaded people onto the truck... most had crushed or broken limbs or victims of severe burns.
This is a sign on the front of the clinic
This is the clinic. The lady on the right had multiple complete breaks in her upper leg. It was decided to leave he in the wheelbarrow that she was brought to us in to be taken to the clinic. This is the courtyard of the house/clinic that was setup within the last 5 days.
These are some of the tools that are used for the worst crush victims. Many many limbs, hands and fingers had to be amputated each day.
Tragically, the earthquake effected every age from young to old.

The very best part of my job...


  1. Hi Jeff,
    So glad you have been able to update everyone on the reality of the situation. They have been showing us on TV many situations where the refugee camps appear to be getting all the help they need. This blog shows us the truth. Thank you for all you do. We will be waiting for the next update.
    God Bless you, Jennifer (Zac's mom in Coon Rapids, MN)

  2. We love you Jeff ... so glad you're here.


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