Another team of Children’s clinicians departed Hanscom Air Force Base yesterday for Haiti, this one including John Meara, MD, DMD, and Gary Rogers, MD, both of Plastic & Oral Surgery, David Waisel, MD, and Craig McClain, MD, both from Anesthesia, a team of Children’s nurses (Nelson Aquino, RN, Lisa Pixley, RN, Stella Harrington, RN, Jay Hartford, RN, Pam Gorgone, RN) and surgical technician, Johanne Jocelyn, with colleagues from Partners in Health. We got word that they arrived safely, and we’ll keep you updated with more info as we get it.
As 40 percent of Haiti’s population are children, pediatric medical and surgical care is desperately needed right now. The National Disaster Medical System is calling for pediatric critical care and critical care transport teams to assemble for possible deployment. Additional support teams from Children’s are currently being mobilized.
Volunteers from Children’s have been a part of the relief efforts from the beginning. Shannon Manzi, David Mooney, MD, MPH, and Gary Fleisher, MD, headed to Haiti on one of the first transports available, with no knowledge of what kind of conditions awaited them. An article from The Boston Globe today reports on the tough decision Mooney had to make in amputating a young Haitian boy’s fingers.
Children’s-affiliated pediatrician Lester Hartman, MD, who runs a clinic in Haiti’s Central Plateau, made his way to the country within days of the earthquake to offer much-needed medical care. He returned home at yesterday and emailed us about the widespread destruction–and the accompanying resiliency of the Haitian people–that he witnessed firsthand.
Hartman sponsors three students in Haiti, all of whom were in Port-au-Prince when the earthquake struck. They were lucky to survive the quake, and returned to the capital city with Dr. Hartman to help with relief efforts.
My daughter Sarah and I are back- got home about midnight last night. Sarah was a huge help in all ways, but being close to fluent in Spanish ,while we spent much time trying to cross the border, was a huge help. Also a huge help was the Dominican pharmaceutical distributor who gave of thousands of dollars of meds, the civil defense team from the DR that crossed the border to help, and the director of HOPEH, Marline Olivier, a small woman with an amazing spirit who got the trucks, food and led us down the mountain (I nominated her for CNN Hero-she is sure mine).
My focus is the people, not the destruction- there will be more of the physical devastation than you can imagine you can imagine. Let’s focus on the people. The three students our family sponsor saw death firsthand in Port-au-Prince. When I asked them to return to Port-au-Prince to help, they responded yes with no hesitation.
In the photo, the first person, from left to right, is Richardson, a high school student we sponsor, who dreams of a farm and a house. He calls my wife “Mom”. …