Saturday, June 12, 2010

January 25, 2010 - Haiti Action Summary

Haiti Update January 25, 2010
...written and distributed by PDG Dick McCombe

The day before yesterday, we had a couple of flights come in from the US with medical supplies gathered by our South Florida Rotarians. The pick-up was coordinated by PDGs Larry Labadie and Phil Lustig. They came in on two planes owned by friends of ours from Kentucky.

Yesterday was a very rewarding day, as were able to reach those suffering on the ground directly again with 6 flights of medical supplies. There were 4 from the Bahamas and 2 from the DR with an aircraft provided by the BVI. There may have been a few others that came in, but I was in Pignon, Haiti, and missed all emails and phone calls.

Our DR Rotarians (Charles Adams) have been very generous in resupplying the flights from Port de Paix in the DR to save the return flight to the BVI for supplies.

We brought Dr. Kevin Tetsworth into Pignon with us yesterday. Kevin, who hails from Australia, is an Orthopedic Surgeon who has volunteered to help out while on vacation. Unfortunately he is desperately needed in Les Cayes, but Dr. Leger said to hold off until we get the Orthopedic supplies there necessary to do the surgeries.

There are currently 50 waiting at his hospital in Les Cayes. Pignon has some limited supplies left, so only the surgeries that they have the supplies for are being done.

I flew into Pignon on one of the flights yesterday with supplies and a number of Bahamian Rotarians. We were graciously met by Guy Theodore, Caleb Lucien, ADG Adele, President Evinel, and a contingent of local Rotarians. We went to Dr. Theodore’s house and held a meeting at which we discussed our relief efforts and their needs, and tried to understand clearly how best we could help them and what direction things would take going forward. This was very productive and helpful.

I am going in on Wednesday with RIDE John Smarge, PRID Barry Rassin, DGE Diana White, and PP Carla. We will meet with Haiti Disaster Chair Dr. Claude Surena, PAG Nessim, PAG Caleb, DGN Guy. We are going to try to get a consensus of the stages relief that will be required, and a clearer understanding of what role our fellow Haitien Rotarians want us to take. They will guide us on this.

After our meeting, we toured Dr. Guy's Hospital in Pignon. Most of the patients came from one of the affected areas. They had been brought there in the back of a truck bed by surviving family members or total strangers.

There was a young girl going in to have both her legs amputated. The Volunteer Doctor who met us told us that her mother had arrived with her after struggling for her own life. As I understood it, she had not eaten for days, and had lost her other 2 children and her husband.

Carla came with two duffle Bags of teddy bears, and she gave the first one to this child. We gave the Teddies to all the children in the hospital. Tragically there were some that did not even know they got one. The pain and suffering that those poor people suffer is something none of us will ever comprehend.

After that, we toured Caleb's Camp where he is housing some of the refugee children. They were cooking up dinner for 200 who were at the Hospital. The venue could well turn out to be a refugee Shelter site. I will keep you posted.

Our St. Croix shipment encountered mechanical problems, and these are being worked on. The shipmeng is now scheduled into PaP tomorrow morning.

My classmate, Phil Lustig, and Larry Labadie have consolidated another shipment and the flight is due in to them in Vero Beach tomorrow morning. If they can turn the flight around in time, they may make a run into Pignon with the supplies.

We have 8 doctors who arrived in Miami tonight. We are trying right now to coordinate getting them into the hospitals in Haiti. Worst case is that they come to Nassau tomorrow and go into Haiti Wednesday.

We have a couple of Dialysis machine offers that we are still coordinating. One is on the way to South Florida right now. I am waiting on Dr. Claude Surena’s advice as to where it needs to go.

Dr. Greg Hoeksema from Cayman is in town with us on his way to Haiti. He has spent the day with local Rotarians inventorying the medical supplies and sorting them so we can more easily send them out to the specific hospitals based on their exact needs.

I urgently still need an Autoclave and a Dermatome. The Autoclave is the tool sterilization piece of equipment, and the Dermatome is used to lift the skin for the skin grafting. Can anyone help with this?

We have a Telethon tonight in Nassau to raise some additional funds. I will let you know how we make out.

I know Jamaica was trying to get some goods into Haiti, but had been struggling with the Southern Command air restrictions, so I await the results of that. All disaster coordinators need to send me any new relevant info so that I can post it.

I’ll keep you posted. Thanks.
PDG Dick

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