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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

Saturday, March 6, 2010

So a Navy neurosurgeon came through the hospital on the day that I left and was extremely impressed.  He said that out of the six "hospitals" they visited in Haiti, we have the best facility!  Woo Hoo!!

And here is a news clip from St. Louis of one of my favorite people from Haiti, my roommate Denise - http://www.ksdk.com/video/default.aspx?bctid=66210562001