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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...