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Tag Archives: Haitian relief

It’s the surprises that you never see coming…

One thing you can count on in Haiti is that the place will change you. And just when you think you’ve seen it all, it manages to somehow surprise you again.

Yesterday was one of those days.   

In my job I don’t often see sick children in orthopedics.  It’s just not a routine part of my practice and when I saw an 8 year-old child (my daughter’s age) with a neglected leg wound that had exposed her entire shin, well, it just hit me so bloody hard. Sadly, she needed an amputation and will survive because of it, but cutting an 8 year-old’s leg off for a treatable infection is not a procedure I ever wanted to be part of and believe me, it hurt us both.

I know, I know. Gotta keep my spirits up. As the sun broke through the clouds, I got to watch my sister work in the surgery unit. That’s a very special experience for me.  Family matters so much to me, to us all. She is younger than me but so much stronger than she knows and better than I will ever be. So proud of her and so glad she’s here.

The team has been going all out. The nurses are really the true heroes.  They work without us but we can’t work with out them!  

The CBC coverage has been great and Anthony Germain has gelled well with the team. His coverage will go a long way to shed light on what needs to be done here. Haiti needs help, we need help.   We can’t do it alone so I always hope this will continue to be the momentum for change.

Keep thinking of that little girl’s leg. If this were home, it would not have come to this. I can’t write anymore today.

– Andrew

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Posted by on April 3, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Day 2 in Haiti: Broken bones, broken AC, but an unbroken will.

I’m expecting that if I complain that the air conditioning in the OR is broken, I may get a few angry responses from those still in winter’s headlock.

Yesterday was crazy busy but still exciting.  Yes, I did get that femur fixed and the team saw over 50 patients in the clinic.

Every step forward is a reminder of how many more there are ahead. Lots to be done.

So glad the Halifax team will be here next week. This is a relay and you are only as good as the ones you hand the baton off to. The folks of the Halifax team are among the best.

It’s tough being away from the kids. That gets even tougher when you’re thousands of miles away and your child is in pain. Yeah, little fright from home yesterday when one of my kids had an orthopedic issue.  Thank you so much to the team at home for all your help. He’s ok but still he’s on my mind every minute and it kills me not to there for him.  One day I hope he will recognize how lucky we are to have the Janeway. The kids don’t have that here. Someday I hope they will.

I believe the reminders and comparisons of where we are to where we come from are important. Hard, but so important. The team visited the general hospital in downtown Port-au-Prince yesterday.  It’s incredibly sad to see the despair and frightening to think of the fate of some of these patients. I could tell by the looks on every team member’s face that we all walked away wanting to do more. We will. None of us are giving up on this place.

Huge thunder and lightening storms cooled the compound and brought much needed rain to the country last night.

Back at our hospital, I keep thinking of my little guy at home as I watch the pediatric nurses doing such an amazing job.  Triage has been a force. What a great team. Better together, I always say.

Ah the AC is finally working in the OR.   Need to take advantage of this window.   

– Andrew

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Posted by on March 31, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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