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.
Friday marks day 7 of the mission, and the team has designated this day for training and transition so that the next team of clinicians can be appropriately trained and prepared for their work in the days ahead. They reported that all areas of the hospital were very busy, but spent a great deal of the time today training the newcomers. Our team has left all areas organized with supplies, and things are organized by specialty – we expanded the wound care area with an extension tent to accommodate more patients.
Sister Rochelle, one of the chaplains with our team in Haiti, traveled with Dr. Cunningham (Santa Fe) and some nurses through Port-au-Prince to visit an orphanage. She reports witnessing the devastation caused by the quake and that many people are still living in tents, and are working to secure their habitats as they prepare for the rainy season.
At the orphanage, many children came out to their car and took snacks from some of the nurses who brought them along, thanking them in Creole. Sr. Rochelle reported that they have consistently seen the profound appreciation of people in Haiti and their gratitude for everything we’ve done for them.
The team listed 3 things they’ve missed while in Haiti:
1. Ice cubes
2. Running water
3. Flushing toilets
And 4 things they’ve cherished:
1. The team spirit and energy of the 20 members of the CHRISTUS team and their support for each other
2. Advance preparation and organization of the CHRISTUS Haiti Relief Task Force, especially where supplies are concerned
3. Support of entire CHRISTUS family – the team received numerous e-mails and letters of support while in Haiti
4. Honored to be able to answer the call for help
The team also made a list of “lessons learned”:
• The stamina of the survivors of the quake is still unbelievable. They have endured so much, and continue to endure without complaint.
• You can accomplish almost anything clinically with very little, working in heat and temperatures over 100 degrees.
• The things most of us complain about now seem insignificant.
• The extreme gratitude of the Haitian people is also astounding. Our team had incredible volunteer translators in their tents.
• Everything we sent was utilized—the team also distributed all the chairs and sleeping bags they bought to families in the Pediatric ward.
• They will leave the hospital a better place, and remain astounded at the incomprehensible resilience of the Haitian people. They will undoubtedly rebound from the horrible tragedy of the January earthquake.