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Saturday, May 8, 2010

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...

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