Thursday, October 28, 2010


12 year old who died from blood clot
15 day old preemie weighs one kilo


Shirley and I arrived back in Haiti on Sat. 10/23 I had been expecting this trip might be different and we could start establishing a mission routine not so filled with drama. That was not to be as I received an e-mail on 10/20 informing me of the cholera outbreak in the Artibonite valley where we live. As more and more cases were showing up at the hospital in St. Marc the largest city in our area we made plans to set up a cholera ward in our PH-H clinic in Pierre Payen. On Friday the day before we arrived they treated 20 patients by noon on Tuesday the number was up to 112. Fortunately we had already scheduled a medical team from Pennsylvania to arrive on Oct. 23 rd so we quickly asked them to resupply with IV fluids and antibiotic. Some reports are showing the epidemic is slowing down and from what I have seen from my travels this may be true.

Our medical team had been scheduled to do surgeries ( general & Ortho) , we also had two ultrasound techs come to train and do exams and a gynecologist. They have kept busy not only doing those things but with several emergency patients including car accidents, examining babies such as the little 15 day old who was born in the 7th month of pregnancy. The mother has been very sick so she was unable to breast feed but the baby has hung on by getting a little bit of formula down.

Perhaps the most disturbing was the 12 year old girl referred to us from the Mission of Hope at Titayian. She had fallen off a donkey 2 weeks ago and was not getting any better so they brought her to us for a possible surgery. Our lead surgeon examined her and felt she had a broken or fractured femur and possibly a lacerated liver. He scheduled her for an ultrasound and Xray. I told the ambulance driver and nurses who brought her to go on back to MOH and we would contact them later with the results. I had just finished eating lunch and someone came to tell me she was dead I at first couldn't believe it so went over to see for myself . I was shocked to see that someone who 15 minutes earlier had been sitting in a wheel chair eating a cracker had died. Our doctors felt terrible about this but suspect a blood clot broke loose during her 45 minute ambulance ride up to Pierre Payen. Even though we are able to do a lot of things to bring better health care to Haiti it is still disturbing for me each time someone comes to our facility with hope that we can help them and they die at our hospital.

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