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Saturday, May 8, 2010

Pictures from Trip 2

Here are some pictures from my last trip!

There was a great group of physical therapists down there, and some from the UK brought over this PPAM device - it's a frame with an inflatable part that can fit both above and below the knee amputations.  The PTs were getting the patients (even the double amputees) up and walking, which was great to see.  They're building up their muscles for the prosthetics lab that is arriving this month!

Denise, my friend from my last trip/roommate for both trips/personal hero/the coolest volunteer in Haiti, showed the amputees her prosthetics leg and talked to them about what to expect with a prosthetic limb, the time it takes to adjust the fit, etc.  The patients loved seeing her again!  They told her she was like a celebrity!  The young lady on the far right on the bench is the patient who was transported to the hospital towards the end of my trip who needed her arm and leg amputated.  She was extremely depressed and said God told her not to have them amputated.  When I saw her in the tents on my first day back, she looked great.  I told her it was so great to see her smiling and doing so well, and I had been thinking about her since my last trip.  She told me it was by the grace of God that she was alive and thanked me - An amazing turn-around in just a few months!

Charlie, one of the PTs from the UK, helping Joseph, a double amputee, walk.  He was always the most eager for the PTs to get there so he could have his turn!

Denise gave the PPAM a try!

And as usual, Denise gathered a pretty big crowd!  

Claudette is 16-years-old, and when I left Milot in February, her arm was not healing and they had to put a central line in her to combat her dehydration and anemia.  I used to see her every other night during pre-op rounds because we were having to wash-out her arm every other day in hopes of it healing and closing.  She smiled and gave me a big hug as soon as I walked in the door of the peds unit - I was so excited to see her back this time doing amazing and healed perfectly!

Holly, one of the pediatricians on our team from Springfield, Mass, with two of the kids.  The last trip, there were over 50 children in the peds unit.  By the end of this trip, there were about 6!  Faina, the infant who was found underneath numerous dead bodies, had healed completely - her leg looked a million times better!  She was discharged with her aunt back to Port au Prince while I was down there.


On our Feb trip, Denise, Holly, and I slept in a room that we called "the Palace."  This was our new "palace" for this trip...  However, it grew in popularity as the breeze outside at night made it the much cooler location!

We went into the town of Milot for Happy Hour on our last day - the restaurant belonged to one of the translator's brothers.  They had a whole array of food and very cold beer!  Our group tripled in size by the time we left!  

Happy Hour!  One of the patients braided Charlie's hair!

Holly with Dr. Beeg Nutsac, the mascot/pet goat of the compound

Updates from Trip 2

My last trip down to Milot was great!  We had a fantastic group of volunteers down there!  During my last trip, we were up to (I think) 500 earthquake victims.  By the time I left on May 1st, there were right around 90.  The hospital is getting back to the way it was before the earthquake.  But it still had its share of difficult days - we had a young boy come in who had been hit by a car and needed a surgical completion of the amputation above his elbow.  A few nights later we tried to resuscitate an infant in the ICU unsuccessfully that we think dies due to meningitis.  But overall, the resiliency of the Haitian people is astounding.  They have been through so much, but they are all always smiling.

It was so great to see some of the patients, staff, and especially Dr. Jerry Bernard, the general surgeon of the hospital who really stepped up to the plate!  He gave me a huge hug when he saw me and said he'll miss me until I come back in December.  The prosthetics lab with Dr. Lovejoy out of Jacksonville should be up and running this month - The majority of the earthquake victims still in the hospital in Milot are medically stable, just waiting on prosthetics before returning to Port au Prince.  The patients can't wait!

Four of the children that were taken to Shriner's in Massachusetts for treatment during my last trip made it safely back to Port au Prince while we were in Milot and were reunited with their families.  Here's an article about the amazing Dr. Ian Goodman who headed up our team on this trip and his struggle to get the children out of Haiti, and an article about their arrival and reunion with their families.  The original conditions demanded that the children all return to Haiti after they were treated and be back with their families, but its hard to hear their parents say they would rather have their children stay in the US because they would have a better future.

My next trip is in December, unless I get talked into going back between now and then, which would not be very surprising...

Friday, April 30, 2010

A few more!

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

A few pictures

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Sorry for the lack of updates- I've been pretty busy! Over 50 patients were discharged earlier in the week which was good. Its a little tough to deal with though because they're sent "home" to port au prince but they don't really have a home to go to. They get off the bus with a tent. But they seem excited to go back. There are a good number of patients that are going to stick around for the prosthetics lab that everyone is very excited for!

There is a great physical therapy group down here working on getting patients up and walking. A group from England brought over this crutch device that has an inflatable hole that they put the amputated leg stump in and they can walk with a walker. I went over yesterday and watched a lot of the amputees get up and walk which was really amazing to see. I'll put up pictures when I'm back. They even had some of the double leg amputees walking!

I've managed to stay busy running the OR- just when things seem to be under control, someone comes in after being hit by a car or something fun like that. It definitely hasn't been boring!

Some of the kids that were sent to Massachussetts for care during my last trip are actually supposed to be flying in to port au prince tomorrow where their families will be waiting so we're keeping our fingers crossed that all goes as planned!
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Sunday, April 25, 2010

For Jennifer

Here's jennifer's little friend Woodley!
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Round 2

Here's a picture of Tim walking his new pet goat. Things are very different this time! There's way fewer patients, and its less acute care, more long term care. But there's still a lot to do! And its really hot. I've seen a lot of the patients from last time, and they all seem to be doing well. Its a great group! Tomorrow's gonna be busy!
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Friday, April 23, 2010

Haiti Round 2!

I'm headed back to Haiti tomorrow!!  I'm very excited - I'm going down with a group of people down there my first week from St. Louis and Massachusetts (including my roommate Denise!!).  It sounds like things are a lot different at the hospital and more patients are going home, but I'm sure there will still be a lot of work to do!  If Verizon cooperates, hopefully I'll be able to send some pictures!

Also for the couple of people who want to know about my personal life - I'm in Missouri!  I took a travel job at the beginning of the month at University of Missouri in Columbia, Missouri.  It's all going really well - it's definitely not Atlanta, but I kind of like it...  I'll be here until July 10th, and then who knows!!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

The biggest baby heads I have ever seen...

A nearby orphanage had two babies with severe hydrocephalus, excessive spinal fluid inside the skull, and Dr. Suresh Magge, a neurosurgeon from DC, came down to put VP shunts in. 
One of the orphans

Putting in the first VP shunt in Milot

I am vehemenently opposed to scrubbing neuro cases at home, but somehow I got talked into joining Team Neuro...

Baby number two

Team Neuro!
Dr. Bernard, Me, and Suresh

Well when word got out that we had an incredible neurosurgeon at our hospitals, more babies with hydrocephalus started arriving every day and their heads were bigger,

And bigger,

And on the day I was leaving, a German group brought a baby with the worst case of hydrocephalus any of us had ever seen:
Head circumference: 82 cm

The only neurosurgeon I'll work with

The Cemetary...

One morning, Mike with the South Bend group took me on a tour of the cemetary.  It sounds pretty creepy, but it is one of the most bizarre things I have ever seen.

If you don't pay the "rent" on your grave and someone else needs to be buried, they pull you out to make room.  If you look closely, you can see the pantyhose and lace gloves on the skeleton...

Mike, the freak show tour guide - he went to the cemetary almost every morning, and he said that it was different every time - bones would be in different places, new skeletons, etc

a skull

Haitien crematorium - they would burn the bodies on these brush piles with a little bit of gasoline (ps gas in Milot was something like $25/gallon and the gas stations were a couple of guys and couple red containers of gasoline)

More bones

This is where they had burned the amputated limbs

Patty, Mike, and Me

Here are some pictures of our Chilean UN friends that drove through nightly, took a couple pictures, and left - one afternoon they dropped off a seizing patient and took a picture and left.  But here's a funny story from that little incident - when the man was recovering in our PACU from the seizure, he kept trying to get out of the bed.  So every time I walked through PACU, I would tell him to lay down over and over and over again, and he didn't really listen.  So I asked one of the translators how to say "lie down" in Creole, and I heard "touche" - so for the next hour or two, every time I walked through PACU, I would say "TOUCHE!" and still, he didn't seem to be following my instructions very well - he would just kinda stare at me and continue trying to get out of bed.  I just figured he was confused after just having a seizure...  Well towards the end of the day, I was passing through PACU, and there was a bunch of people around - transporters, translators, local people, patients and family members, and Dr. Bernard, the Haitien hospital surgeon.  So I told the post-seizure guy "Touche!  Touche!" and Dr. Bernard came running over to me and said "NO! STOP!  You're telling him to touch you!  It's 'KOUCHE' not 'TOUCHE'!"  I could feel my face turning red, and EVERYONE in the room was  howling.  Needless to say, I didn't attempt to speak much Creole after that...

The UN taking a little tour of the OR

Pictures! Finally!

Sorry this has taken me WAY too long but here are some pictures!!!

a baby lizard hanging out with the OR supplies


Yonica's dad carrying her over to the OR for a dressing change - sorry I can't figure out how to turn the picture

And then I found out the markers I gave to the kids to draw on the glove balloons while waiting for dressing changes were not permanent.  And they had purple hands for days...

Hospital Sacre Coeur
the old hospital

The New Hospital
aka tent city

Inside one of the six tents - each had about 40 patients and any family members with them slept on the floor in between the cots

My first day...

Jerry Garcia?

The sign in the OR when I arrived

The sign in the OR when I left - we decided we deserved Magnet status