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Haiti: No rest for the weary

Friday

We’ve been so busy, little time to get onto the one computer here that is on the Internet. Thought we’d have “smart phone” access and texting, but it’s Haiti!

We’ve been VERY busy. We sleep after sundown and get up well before mass at 7am, while patients are already assembling. The mass is an amazing way for us to start the day…an open air chapel, 10-20 people, a homily from Father Rick that is very in touch to what we are doing here. Usually a combo of 3 languages – English, French, Creole, and some Italian, as there is a big group of Italian volunteers. Beautiful a cappella singing.

The effect of the earthquake is visible constantly, the structural damage, but also on the people and their lives. So many still live in tent cities as do many of the workers of the hospital. To many mothers, sitting in a straight back chair in an ER for greater than 24 hours is still better than being on the ground in a tent with a sick one. We see many serious burns because there’s lots of open fire cooking in congested areas. Malnutrition is also rampant. We saw a baby yesterday who weighed 7 pounds at 7 months. The baby was admitted for the malnutrition program here. It’s quite impressive…much like Ethiopia’s. But you have to wonder how many are out there that don’t get the program or come in too late.

A neurosurgeon is here from Italy for the week, doing shunts, closing encephaloceles (neural tube defects). We saw a head that was too too big to shunt, baby was admitted to die.  We don’t see this in the States.

Jeff is spending lots of his time working with “Urgency ” staff to help with the flow and acute management of the sickest. But I saw the 7 pound, 7-month-old baby in the “clinic” as well as the neurosurgery admissions.

Amazing things accomplished here in the last months…such as a rehab area for prosthetics, etc., under roof that combines offices and rehab areas made inside shipping crates; mural paintings on the outside walls. They’re quite impressive and in contrast to the problems and damage to people and structures.

We have lots to do here, endless needs, amazing, resilient people who are living in a very, very poor country before the earthquake that set it reeling. It’s only been 6 months.

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