Dan and Jose worked yesterday morning to exchange patients with Samaritan’s Purse (SP). CSL is better equipped to do leg fractures and SP is better equipped to do upper extremity and ankle fractures. Working together we are trying to fix as many fractures as possible. Thank you SP for all the collaborative patient care!
The Orthopedic team (Drs. Nugent & Lamy) relocated a dislocated complex pelvic fracture. To heal this severe injury, femoral traction is required, but the frame to deliver this traction was not available. Dan Boerman (Master of all mechanical) was asked to engineer a solution; he made the traction frame from a straight metal pipe. Thank you Dan!
It has been 12 days since the earthquake struck Haiti. We arrived at the hospital on Friday afternoon, the 20th. There were patients lying everywhere – outside, under awnings/trees (anywhere to get shade), in waiting areas – literally anywhere they could find a spot. We went right to work preparing for an early start on Saturday. Since then our team and the hospital staff have made huge progress. This morning is calmer; there were fewer people sleeping on the grounds last night. There are a few tremors happening from time to time and a lot of the Haitians are scared to sleep inside. Can’t say as I blame them.
We are so thankful that God spared the hospital from damage, allowing us to remain fully functional. Up until Sunday, when Samaritan’s Purse’s mobile hospital became functional, we were the only hospital fully operating in the area. We had a meeting with Samaritan’s Purse on Sunday and are working together to best treat some of the most difficult cases.
It is hard watching patients wait for treatment as we prioritize and do the worst cases first. There is one man who for days has been on a hospital gurney in the middle of the clinic waiting area. I think his family moved him there so he could get some air, or maybe so we would have to see him every time we walk through. His right leg is broken and he has a cardboard splint stabilizing his leg. It is even harder to see the kids; we’ve cast their broken legs and arms and sent most of them home. It’s the ones who have lost arms and legs, they are the hardest. A three-year-old, who had to have her arm removed yesterday is maybe the worst. In a country like Haiti, losing an arm or a leg will make your life very difficult, as if it’s not difficult here already.
The team from Springfield, Missouri, continue to work very hard, trying to get through as many difficult cases as they can with the time they have here. What a blessing to have them here. Dr. Dylan Nugent did his post residency program in Kenya, Gail Dooling spent 14 years in Papua New Guinea, Sean Apple has spent time in Pakistan, and Dr. Jose was a doctor in the army. Having Dylan, Gail, Sean, and Jose who are used to dealing with trauma in less than ideal conditions have helped get through these difficult cases. Sometimes special experiences are priceless. Today we had an emergency C-section come in the middle of concentrating on orthopedic cases; the baby was just stuck, time was running out, and Gail new exactly what to do and pushed in the right area, releasing the baby.
A big shout out to our staff of doctors and nurses who have put in countless hours treating those in need. I’m aware of 6 staff members who continue to put long days in here when their homes have been destroyed. John Eddy’s family comes every night and sleep on benches in the community health area. How to help these staff members will be a challenging question to answer in the near future.
We have a couple more days of work before we head home. We were notified yesterday that our flight out was cancelled. No explanation – just cancelled. We tried to reschedule for Friday but all flights were full. We really don’t want to leave early and leave cases undone. We are working on options but it is out of our hands. Please pray for a good solution.
Thank you to all for your donations sent since the earthquake hit. Keeping the hospital operating through this time without billing for services is expensive, and it is a blessing to see how God is already providing. We appreciate your prayers and support.
Things are going well at the hospital. The staff here has done an excellent job following the earthquake. They are very tired so we gave them Sunday off and did prep work most of the day. The team from Springfield Missouri Cox Health are doing a great job not only treating patients, but also training the staff in ortho trauma. We are learning a lot that we will be able to use in the future. Dr. Dylan Nugent, an ortho surgeon who spent time in Kenya, has been happy with the skills of our doctors, especially Dr. Lamy.
The team from Springfield brought over 650 pounds of medical supplies; Tabitha Sheen was able to arrange the purchase of an additional 850 pounds in Port Au Prince. Agape Air was kind enough to fly all the supplies to Les Cayes.
Thank you for your support and prayers. We will continue to keep you updated and will hopefully be able to share pictures soon. Dan
Dear family and friends; Thank you so much for your outpouring of kindness and prayers for us these past few days. We have been busy and have emptied our house, the guesthouse and as much of the other buildings as possible. We moved most everything to the shop (which is high ground) and has a tin roof and is the only building not seriously structurally damaged. We are so thankful for the kindness of our fellow missionaries at the Dairy farm (10 minutes from camp), who have invited us to stay in their apartment and make it our home base. It would not be safe for us to stay at the camp as all of the buildings continue to move and sink into the soft ground. We will not be surprised if some more of the buildings have totally collapsed tomorrow after the storm and rain. Also, the wall along the river is destroyed, so there is no protection for the yard when the river floods. Lord willing, we plan to sell, give away and organize all the equipment and supplies at the camp, and then we are hoping in a couple of weeks that Agape flights can fly us together with Sandy the dog to Venice, Florida. Once in Florida we plan to meet with Danny Thomas (Harvest director) and then hopefully, rent, buy, or borrow a small motorhome and drive through the US and into Canada.
Thank you for your continued prayers as we make these decisions and transitions. We don’t know if/when we will return to Haiti at some point in the future, or if the Lord has another place for us to serve as missionaries. We know that for now we are planning to head home to process everything and see family, Lord willing. Thanks again for you prayers and support. Bye for now.
Love Rod, Debbie, and Katie