Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Guest Post: Day 5 in Haiti

As Dr. Royer is in Haiti with the CHRISTUS team, updates on the team’s work there will be posted by the CHRISTUS Communications team in Dallas.

This is the team’s 5th day in Haiti, and the heat and humidity are still hard on those working outside in the Emergency Department and other outside clinics. But even in the heat, the team seems energized! Dr. Royer said it is important to know that our CHRISTUS team is helping wherever necessary, directing many of the areas. The Operating Room (OR) is now working around the clock because there is so much to be done, including trauma. They continue to pull others in to treat patients appropriately, and are getting up during the night as necessary.

The team brought large plastic footlockers full of supplies with them, and fully intended to bring them back so they could be reused in future disaster relief efforts, but Rae Thigpen, who is heading up the OR, asked today if they could use them as scrub and other tables, so the CHRISTUS team will be leaving these storage bins for future groups to use.

Two physicians and Michele Barrau, a nurse from St. Catherine who is originally from Haiti and speaks Creole, accompanied two Search and Rescue NYC firefighters who have been visiting a neighborhood daily. The neighborhood is hard to access, especially by car, and was described as an alleyway that opens into an enclosed area. They found a woman there who has adopted 20 kids, and is about 8 to 9 months pregnant herself. The firefighters have been visiting this woman and these children daily to bring them food, water, supplies, etc. They checked her out as well as another pregnant woman, and treated the kids mostly for diarrhea and some wound care. They will try to bring a pediatrician back with them tomorrow, as well as more supplies. A Christian mission there has volunteered to donate food and water for these folks, so our team is trying to secure a truck to bring those supplies in, but it is still hard to access by car. Dr. Boykin said it was heartbreaking what they were going through, but they were doing as much as they can to ensure this woman could provide for these children.

Our chaplains are on call around the clock, sometimes filling in during night for emergencies. They have continued to travel around the compound, visiting and talking with many patients. This morning, they met with a Rabbi to plan the ecumenical service that will take place tonight at 7. The Rabbi will read a Hebrew scripture, Guillermo Caispong will read from the New Testament, and Sr. Rochelle Perrier will read a response from the Psalms. Then they will open it up for any other prayers.

Last night, Guillermo was called to minister to a mother who lost a grown child. This was the third child she lost since the earthquake. (Two died in the in earthquake, and the third passed away last night.) Guillermo performed a short service and stayed with mom for a while.

Everyone is working very hard. There is not member of team who isn’t working 18-20 hours a day, and filling in where needed. Everyone seems very grateful that they’re there, and the CHRISTUS family is very proud of all of them!

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