Editor: April Perry, from Durham, is with the second N.C. Baptist Men’s medical team and posted this report from her station in Haiti.
So many amputations it just is horrible. Many had to get limbs amputated because there wasn’t the equipment and people available to try to fix their fractures earlier. That just sickens me. Now they are without a major limb simply because they didn’t have what was needed to fix it at the time. Unbelievable.
The tent city outside is growing daily with people we can’t keep inside and who have to be “discharged.” Additionally many are afraid to go home or don’t have a home to go to.
I decided I really needed to try to get organized a bit. I spent so much time yesterday looking for things I needed. I think some of the other staff felt the same way because I saw makeshift shelves going up made from concrete blocks and a desk top.
I went to the supply area where I was working and started cleaning when an MD from Sweden came into the supply room. She thought that it might make a decent patient room and could help alleviate the overcrowding in their room. So I agreed to try to clean it up and add one additional room for patients.
At this point, skill sets aren’t as important as doing what is needed. So I found a broom, donned some gloves and spent about an hour cleaning up this supply room for patients.
After a quick break for lunch I spent most of the afternoon in the intensive care unit. The folks there really needed a break. We had a woman with hemoglobin of 2 – pretty much as inconsistent with life as you can get and still be alive. They had somehow procured blood for her – one of the volunteers here gave some – and I got that started.
Several post-op patients came in as well. We had a woman with tetanus, a woman with a complicated C-section and her baby, and various other folks who needed a little extra attention. It was really amazing to me what we were doing caring for these patients in the midst of this disaster.
I walked by a room where an elderly quite sick looking man was calling out and no one seemed to hear him. I went in and immediately recognized him from yesterday. Yesterday he was lying on the ground in the hospital foyer covered up, but just barely, with no clothes on.
Next to him was a sign which was so eerie to me: NPO, IV fluids only, DNR. He has sustained a spinal cord injury and there was really nothing to do for him. He had no family with him. Today he just wanted something to drink. So I spent about 5 minutes just giving him sips of water.
I think most of you know where I am going with this. Jesus says we need to feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty and help those in need. It might have been the most important thing I really did all day long.
Many people are here helping in many, many good ways – giving of their hearts and souls, body and talents. So be encouraged, the world is reaching out to Haiti.