HealthCommentary

Exploring Human Potential

Operation Smile/Haiti Update

Posted on | February 12, 2010 | No Comments

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I have almost completed my first day at Fond Parisien Field Hospital here in Haiti. It is absolutely beautiful here, green mountainous with clear blue skies. It is hard for me to imagine that not far from here there is complete devastation.

This morning we had about 138 patients, and throughout the day I believe we added about another 60 or so, and a few got transferred to other facilities. Currently, we are considering ourselves as part of a rehab hospital, doing a lot of wound care, including OR debridements. We were lucky to get a group of Physical therapists in today-such a desperate need here.

Once again, I have received so much more already than I could ever have offered to anyone here. Today an older lady who had an arm fracture that had an external fixtor attached, told me how thankful she was that she had survived the earthquake. She said she was so happy, she wanted to sing – so sing together we did. The saddest thing is seeing all the young kids and teens with amputated limbs. I look at them and I feel sad, until that big beautiful smile breaks out, and I realize that happiness does not come from an intact body, but an intact heart.

The camp is rows and rows of tents with several patients and family members in each unit. The families all help each other-yesterday I watched a young boy, about 9 wash his mother’s underwear for her and then help her wash up before she went to bed. Again, I wondered how willing would I be to help my loved ones in that simple, humble manner. Being here really makes me realize again, for those of us who are lucky to have much, we need to do and give more.

Today we did 6 surgeries-more scheduled for tomorrow. A lot of the work at this point involves wound care and antibiotics. The team that was here before us has done a great job together with the other organizations here of organizing things. I am once again grateful to be here to help.

РLisa Friesen, Pacu Nurse, Medical Volunteer 

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