So my four year-old son, Mark, asks in the car last week, “how do people know where they are going?”
We tried to explain that there are maps, and he says: “no, how do they know where they are going?”
We try to explain there are schedules, and he says: “no, how do they know where they are going?”
There are routines, memories of direction, things to do? No matter what answer we provided, he responded the same. Frankly, his question stumped us.
So how do we know where we are going?
This week, we completed something I would have thought impossible two years ago, let alone five years after the earthquake… we conducted a full trauma simulation course in Port-au-Prince, one with all of the trimmings and expertise of any trauma course held anywhere in the world.
Team Broken Earth Experts from across Canada, teaching in a combination of didactic and simulation scenarios, the basic approach to trauma care and resuscitating trauma patients.
Trauma is the leading cause of years of life lost in the world, it dwarfs illnesses like HIV and TB combined. It takes a perfectly healthy individual and within milliseconds with an incorrect turn in a car or a slip from a ladder, and changes their lives forever. The effects and impact of critically wounded patients is amplified in low and middle income countries, to the point where the World Health Organization and the UN are focusing on trauma in these countries.
We have scene first hand young men, women, and children die because there was inadequate treatment, supplies and skills. Of course we take steps to correct that with each trip, but this trip is a huge leap in progress.
80 participants. Nurses and doctors, who need and want the skills to save lives, in a room listening intently and then so enthusiastic to get started. This will change the way hospitals here practice. This one course will be a legacy of changing lives forever.
So I guess my answer to Mark and to all of you who have supported us, is this: I don’t know exactly where we are going, none of us can, but we are making a difference at stops along the way, and if the journey is more important than the destination, perhaps that is the purpose.