Dr. Ringler, Matt Weigle and I were just talking and we can hardly believe that we have been here nine days. It has been a fast paced, fast moving time of constant change.
But not everything changes: The patients haven’t changed, their needs continue. The source of care we are giving is a bit more varied. We had quite a line of fractures returning for follow up today, but unfortunately someone had accidentally left the battery on the portable x-ray machine uncharged and we had to defer those followups until next week.
We are still doing continued wound care and revision surgeries, and in some cases, amputations. Dr. Ringler took care of an acute open humerus fracture today as well. The military team from the 82nd Airborne delivered a patient to us and told us of thirteen patients that they are bringing here tomorrow.
Some things have changed though: The clinic that Greg visited to start with has become a full-fledged hospital—even more of a hospital than we left. We have had continued influx of material and personnel arrive or commit to arrive, including a large group from Miami Baptist Hospital who will be here on Sunday. They will be taking care of elective surgeries that have been already scheduled, but a few acute cases as well.
We as physicians and colleagues have changed too. This has been an overwhelming opportunity just to serve the people in Haiti. We know that without the extreme support of our families and colleagues back home we would not have been in a position to help. We are truly thankful to all of you for that.
Tomorrow is “switch day” and we are looking forward to seeing our incoming team at the airport tomorrow.
David J. Bielema, M.D.