Sunday, March 28, 2010


It seems everyday is a challenge in Haiti some are enjoyable other not so much. Yesterday as has been the case for the last eleven weeks was team transfer day with team 10 leaving and team 11 coming in. Nothing different about that except for multiple flights and times for those departing, 3 to be precise and 2 coming in. The ones coming in were the challenge as they were both privately owned planes arriving an hour apart at two separate airports. These are simple things at least to me as I have become accustomed over the years and know that by days end all will have worked out.

The big challenge besides what I normally deal with was that yesterday we had to deal with working with a film crew sent here by Dan Rather Reports. They came to do a story about a 13 year old girl who was an auto/pedestrian accident victim brought to the Pierre Payen hospital the first week after the earthquake. The little girl whose name is St. Filia owes her life to the fact that the earthquake brought doctors here to our hospital that were able to administer life saving procedures. It was through their efforts and skills that she was stabilized enough to get airlifted by private plane to Fort Lauderdale, Fl. There she went through several surgeries to repair her crushed pelvis and internal organs that will allow her to walk and have children at some point in her future.
Yesterday was the final part of of her 2 month journey to return home and be reunited with her family and community. The challenge for me was to incorporate the transport of not only a very large medical team with supplies but a camera man, a producer, the pilot and his friend , a reporter, St. Filia and Lesly an American born Haitian who worked out of the Ft. Lauderdale Hospital as an EMT/fireman where she received her treatments. The 60 mile drive out to Pierre Payen was interrupted by the film truck at times behind us, other times often driving beside us and several times speeding ahead to set up a film segment as we drove through certain areas. Once we arrived out at the hospital they shot for several more hours as she was reunited for the first time in over 2 months with her family. Then we drove to the site of the accident where we found the lady who lifted her off the street after she had been hit by the bus. Finally we took her to the home of her cousin where she would being staying. Everywhere we went crowds gathered who were amazed to see her alive and able to walk on her own once again.

Finally and almost right on time as scripted we drove to Club Indigo where a private helicopter awaited to rush the film people back to the airport to fly back to the states on their privately donated plane. Oh I might also add that after the film people left I headed back to Pierre Payen got cleaned up and headed off to a wedding reception for one of my PH-H employees. Bedtime came around eleven o'clock last night.

These events that transpired yesterday may sound hectic, chaotic and exotic to many of my readers yet they have since the quake been a normal part of my life. I head home in four days for the first time in 3 months, that seems exotic to me. When God led me here eleven years ago this coming weekend, April 4th, I never dreamed I would still be here nor my life would be what it is today. Now and for possibly another 10 years Haiti will continue to be my normal life and the U.S. the exotic life of my dreams. In God's love , steve

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