Day seven from Haiti: one week down, lots of progress made

Children's trauma surgeon David Mooney, MD, is featured in today's Boston Globe article on infections in Haiti. Photo courtesy Boston Globe.
Children's trauma surgeon David Mooney, MD, is featured in today's Boston Globe article on infections in Haiti. Photo courtesy Boston Globe.

Editor’s note: All three members of the other Children’s team on the ground in Haiti, Pediatrician-in-Chief, Gary Fleisher, trauma surgeon David Mooney (left) and pharmacist Shannon Manzi, are featured in a Boston Globe article today about how infections are becoming the big problem for the people of Haiti.

Nelson Aquino, a nurse anesthetist from Children’s, is in Haiti with a group of Children’s clinicians. He’s been sending us updates and photos almost daily. Here’s his most recent email:

Today was another hectic day in our makeshift OR. And to make it worse, we did not have any electricity the entire morning. But we continued on safely using our portable monitors, homemade suction and no bovies. You would be amazed how much work we got done without light or electricity. Things are starting to get better each day. As old teams leave and new ones arrive, we continue to get our work done. We all feel like we hit  the wall today. The fatigue is starting to get to us even though we are hydrating and trying to eat  as much as we can.The mission of Partners in Health is to eventually have the Haitians running their own hospital again with our help. Today, we were able to work toward that goal by having the Haitian doctors, surgeons,  anesthesia and nurses work with us in the OR, PACU and outside tents.

Nelson Aquino, CRNA, (center) and Brian Birner, CRNA, (in green) putting a patient to sleep for surgery with Dr. Meara.
Nelson Aquino, CRNA, (center) and Brian Birner, CRNA, (in green) putting a patient to sleep for surgery with Dr. Meara.

Some of the Haitian workers seem really receptive to us while others are still traumatized by the loss of their family members and loss of their homes. I can’t imagine what they are all experiencing, but as I have said before, it amazes me how strong willed the people are going on with life. During this whole experience, we have met some wonderful people. The US 82 Airborne has been helping us throughout our journey. The medics are awesome with crowd control, placing IVs, helping with anything and just being there for all of us. These guys were supposed to be in Afghanistan but got re-routed to Haiti for now. The OR folks allowed these medics to scrub him and help with surgeries. The medics were so enthusiastic and willing to learn!

We have also started to notice the prevalence of HIV within the Haitian community. We cared for several confirmed cases including children.

One of the other things we are noticing is that many of the people are  so afraid of losing their limbs. When the patients return to their tents from the ORs, everyone would sing praises and songs for not having a limb amputated. Tonight we dropped off one lady who returned and the entire tent was singing praises. They all kept thanking us in prayer. But the part that really sucks, is that in morning we have to tell her that she will die if we don’t amputate her leg.

Each day we experience special moments which we will always remember and we are so grateful for all of them. We hope to share more when we all return. As of right now, we are hoping to complete our mission by the end of the weekend.

Thank you to all of you following our blog and for all your messages and thoughts. We all appreciate it!!!!

Nelson J. Aquino CRNA

22 thoughts on “Day seven from Haiti: one week down, lots of progress made

  1. Nelson – I will keep you in my prayers – thank you for all you and the team are doing.

  2. Nelson – I will keep you in my prayers – thank you for all you and the team are doing.

  3. Hello Nelson, Dr Meara, Dr. Mooney

    Thank you for all you doing for the Haitian people. Your blessing will come in a big way. Email me if you need help. I would love to join you.

    Nel

  4. Hello Nelson, Dr Meara, Dr. Mooney
    Thank you for all you doing for the Haitian people. Your blessing will come in a big way. Email me if you need help. I would love to join you.
    Nel

  5. Hi Guys(Pammy,Stella,Johanne,Nelson,Craig,Dave W, Dave M,Gary,John)

    Thank you Nelson for keeping us all up to date on what you are doing. You guys are all such an inspiration and I am so proud to say that you are my co-workers and that you come form Childrens Hospital in Boston.

    What you are doing is such a wonderful thing. I don’t know what else to say other than I am honored to know you all.

    My thoughts and prayers are with you. Be Safe!!

    Lesley

  6. Hi Guys(Pammy,Stella,Johanne,Nelson,Craig,Dave W, Dave M,Gary,John)

    Thank you Nelson for keeping us all up to date on what you are doing. You guys are all such an inspiration and I am so proud to say that you are my co-workers and that you come form Childrens Hospital in Boston.

    What you are doing is such a wonderful thing. I don't know what else to say other than I am honored to know you all.

    My thoughts and prayers are with you. Be Safe!!
    Lesley

  7. Nelson,

    Thanks for the great work you are doing in Haiti.

    Your hard work and dedication to the people of Haiti is an example to be followed.

    This is an example of what America can do for our fellow human beings in need.

    My best wishes to you and your team..our prayers are with you all.

  8. Nelson,
    Thanks for the great work you are doing in Haiti.
    Your hard work and dedication to the people of Haiti is an example to be followed.
    This is an example of what America can do for our fellow human beings in need.
    My best wishes to you and your team..our prayers are with you all.

  9. Nelson,Thanks to you and the others for courage, perserverance and dedication.I don’t know what else to say but that you are all wonderful and are making a huge difference to the people of Haiti. Safe home, Phyllis DiNatale-Roussell (Lex Amb Surg)

  10. Nelson,Thanks to you and the others for courage, perserverance and dedication.I don't know what else to say but that you are all wonderful and are making a huge difference to the people of Haiti. Safe home, Phyllis DiNatale-Roussell (Lex Amb Surg)

  11. I just can’t imagine how hard it must be what you are all doing down there, so thank you for doing all that you are and for the strength that it takes in so many ways.

  12. I just can't imagine how hard it must be what you are all doing down there, so thank you for doing all that you are and for the strength that it takes in so many ways.

    1. Stay strong! You are doing an unbelievable job – you guys are in our thoughts every day. See you soon.

  13. MAY GOD BLESS ALL OF YOU! Dr. Meara operated on my son Christian, and I am forever greatful! I know in my heart that all of you will be driven by the tears, hopes, and smiles from the children’s eyes through this incomprehensible tragedy…. I just feel that Dr. Shannen is your GUARDIAN ANGEL WATCHING over all of you….

  14. MAY GOD BLESS ALL OF YOU! Dr. Meara operated on my son Christian, and I am forever greatful! I know in my heart that all of you will be driven by the tears, hopes, and smiles from the children's eyes through this incomprehensible tragedy…. I just feel that Dr. Shannen is your GUARDIAN ANGEL WATCHING over all of you….

  15. God Bless those of you that went to help the poor, innocent victims in Haiti. You all give of yourselves selflessly in so many ways. So many of us are so greatful to you for all the lives you have saved, the lives you have touched. Personally, we are forever grateful to Dr. David Mooney who is responsible for saving our daughter 3 years ago.

  16. God Bless those of you that went to help the poor, innocent victims in Haiti. You all give of yourselves selflessly in so many ways. So many of us are so greatful to you for all the lives you have saved, the lives you have touched. Personally, we are forever grateful to Dr. David Mooney who is responsible for saving our daughter 3 years ago.

  17. Dr.Mooney, Dr.Meara, Nelson Aquino,

    God Bless you all for helping the poor innocent earthquake victims in Haiti. You are talented and gifted people who give to others selflessly. Thank you for all you are doing for the people of Haiti.

  18. To the Medical Team in Haiti, I am following all of your progress and think you guys are amazing. Keep up the wonderful work. You ROCK!!!!

  19. To the Medical Team in Haiti, I am following all of your progress and think you guys are amazing. Keep up the wonderful work. You ROCK!!!!

  20. Stay strong! You are doing an unbelievable job – you guys are in our thoughts every day. See you soon.

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