I’m back here in Port-au-Prince but to be honest, my heart is somewhere else right now. Caught some of the remarkable footage of the fires ravaging Fort Mac, as we call it back home. Images of people literally running for their lives. Hard to look for the positive in the face of such bold tragedy. But look closer. It’s there. It’s in the countless stories of the generosity and courage of the people and communities that have stepped up to help. And you can always count on Canadians from coast to coast to drop everything to say, “what can we do?”
When I was choosing my specialty in medical school, I was drawn to orthopaedics because, to put it simply, when something was broken, you built a construct to put it back together.
Be strong Fort Mac. We’re all behind you. What’s broken will be mended.
We had two teams in Port-au-Prince this week. The first was a clinical-teaching team from Vancouver. In addition to providing tireless medical care, this group found time to teach two courses in critical care and anesthesia to over 80 participants. Their passion, empathy and professionalism were an inspiration to watch. I’m lucky for this. Lucky to be a first-hand witness to the growth of Broken Earth. To look from the outside in as another team makes us all so proud.
The second team was comprised of surgeons from Manitoba, Ontario, Alberta, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland and Labrador. We even had our first TBE volunteer from Australia. We taught over 60 participants in how to treat broken bones. We also had the privilege of meeting the Canadian Ambassador, who came to the course and even participated.
The course was a huge success. The lectures were followed by practical labs, placing plates and screws on bones. The most special part of this was seeing how we have improved on the course from two years ago. Imagine it. Young residents who took that course in 2014 are now helping teach the course to their juniors. That’s the truest reward for us.
Another highlight of the trip was a visit with Rudy. He’s a young man Dr. Steve Hunt operated on just 6 months ago. Rudy went from being shunned, teased and ostracized to now going to school, learning and reading. Just a regular student now. You gotta think/hope/pray that someone like Rudy may be the one who changes Haiti.
The Team Broken Earth family keeps growing. Barrie Ontario is sending their first team here tomorrow, taking over from the Vancouver team who will depart the same day. The work continues. It is not nor ever will be a quick fix. It’s a process. A hope. A dream to make this place a little less broken.
Ps. Help support Fort Mac by giving to the Red Cross here and don’t miss Alan Doyle’s fundraiser coming up on May 12th at The Factory.