Haiti Blog

Haiti Day #4

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Natacha shattered her ankle 2 weeks ago.  She has been in a hospital in Port-au-Prince since then lying in bed with 8 other women in the woman’s ward, awaiting our arrival, no finances to afford the repair she needed to allow her to walk again.  Here at home, she would have had surgery and been […]

Day #3 in Haiti

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Charles’ thigh was crushed in a motorcycle accident 6 months ago.  He was able to find the funds to have it fixed then.  Six months later he is still in a hospital lying in the men’s ward with 8 others.  He has been bedridden since then swatting flies and struggling with the heat and humidity […]

Day #2 from Bull

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When I met Anne in December 2017, she had been in a sling with a functionless and painful arm for four months, her fractured humerus unhealed.  She had been in a sling since she had been hit by a car in the streets of Port-au-Prince.  She could not afford to see a doctor.   She was […]

Day #1 in Haiti

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RF is a 23 year old woman with a tumor on her right arm the size of a cantaloupe.  She is one of the patients waiting to see us in Haiti this week.  I hope we can save her arm.  We are now in Haiti with a team of 11 volunteers to treat those who […]

MOHLENE

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Mohlene, 18 years old, was born HIV positive. She contracted the infection from her mother, and this is called “vertical transmission.” Her mom died many years ago from AIDS, and today Mohlene held my hand and smiled as we talked about her home and her family. Tomorrow she will lose both of her legs, but she doesn’t know this yet.

LIGHTNING SPEED

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Things are happening at lightning speed down here, and the amount of work we have done already is astounding. Stories are coming in from the results of our previous efforts as we prepare to begin new stories. A young man is going into surgery, as I write, for repairs on his fractured leg and upper arm. Another male who was in a motorcycle accident awaits surgery to repair his femur and wrist fractures early tomorrow morning.

GENESE AND WOODJINA

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Day 2 Haiti: The team is settling in to care for injured patients who have travelled to Port-au-Prince from as far away as Cap Haitian, a 6-hour drive. Some we have seen before, and they have returned for follow up. Doctors Without Borders is scaling back here, thus the volume of injured patients at our doors is rapidly rising.

WOODJINA’S STORY

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Woodjina lies alone in her bed in a small room surrounded by ten other patients with orthopedic injures, all with various splints and traction devices set up. She swats at a mosquito and pulls against the traction device attached to her left leg. A coke bottle filled with cloudy water and tied to a rope dangles off the foot of her bed. It is attached to cardboard that envelops her left lower leg. Her right leg is in a splint, her left hip is dislocated, both are hot with fever. She wiggles to relieve the pain in the pressure sores that are developing after 3 weeks of bedrest. She is 5 years old.

HURRICANE MATTHEW

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Just Returned The structure across the courtyard from my bedroom stands incomplete. Rebar sticks out from the top of the wall, supporting the rising sun. The new construction is a reminder of the rubble that once lay here following the earthquake six years ago. To my right is a dorm where 30 girls, ages 10-20, are sleeping. To my left is the boy’s dorm that sleeps five. The 15 babies are asleep in the back building. There are three new babies here from Les Cayes, all of them left without family after the hurricane. Three more are coming this week.

HURRICANE VICTIMS

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My wife and I are supporting the education of two Haitian young women, Bebe and Nerlande. They are attending NAU in Flagstaff. They have families in the southern peninsula of Haiti which was recently ravaged by Hurricane Matthew. Bebe’s family, from Jeremie, are all alive but have lost their home and all their possessions. Nerlande’s sister and children are from Les Cayes, and they remain unaccounted for.