Ki jan ou rele? (What is your name?)
Our last night in Croix de Bouquets.
Today we fixed our first acute fracture, a 13-year-old who fractured his femur playing soccer. First case we were able to use our brand new large fragment set of screws (which was complete!!) that had been hand delivered by Tony, a friend of the Van Wingerden’s, directly to our OR, compliments of Bob Caudle of St. Damien’s (thanks Scott B). Bob and Tony happened to sit next to each other on the same plane into Haiti. Small World.
We delivered one of patients with a slow-healing, Grade IIIB wound (which we had been using an OR suction as VAC) to University of Miami Tent Hospital at the airport. Hopefully she will benefit from short-term VAC and skin graft.
We were able to procure a VAC machine and several sets of VAC supplies (can’t tell you where they came from as it was very “under the table”) so we are excited to be able to provide care to additional wound patients.
We were visited by an orthopedic team from Spain. An orthopedic surgeon and nurse spent the whole day in the Phase 3 ward, measuring and fitting our amputee patients for prosthesis. They worked in 95 degree heat in long shirts, and brought in all their supplies, medical supplies and meds in 2 large suitcases. What a blessing to these visitors and they were completely unannounced.
We had our first team casualty in the Valeri, our little sparkplug clinic/ER PA, virtually passed out from some form of stomach illness and spent the whole day in her room with the rest of the team running up IVF’s, Zofran, Protonix, Phenergen, Immodium, Cipro, and more IVF’s. Great news is she is upright again tonight and we pray she makes a speedy recovery. She is so dedicated to this place that she cancelled her flight home tomorrow to rebook a flight a week later.
We spent the evening throwing toys and Slim Jims off the back roof to a gathering of Haitian kids in exchange for them singing Haitian songs to us. Even had freshly baked chocolate cake for supper. Had no eggs so one of the VanWingerdens’s ran across the street and picked up 6 fresh eggs directly from their chicken coop. Talk about living the highlife.
Tomorrow we return home. We leave with mixed emotions. We are certainly anxious to get home to friends and families. But the patients will stay with us, in our hearts and minds. The Haitian people that staff the clinic are now our friends. Our hearts go out to the proud people of this beautiful country. We will certainly return home having received much more than we gave. We are sincerely and humbly grateful for being given this opportunity.