Warning: Not for the Faint of Heart

A friend forwarded this e-mail from a pastor’s daughter who is working in Haiti with a medical mission team from Missouri.  Her description of what she has seen since her arrival is graphic; reader discretion is advised.  But this first-person account brings home the reality of the Haitian earthquake in a way nothing else I have read or seen has.  As I wrote to my friend in reply: “It drove me to my knees.”


You just would not believe the things i have seen.  people everywhere with missing limbs. 2 babies died today.  one man died with a pulmonary embolism (blood clot) bc they ran out of heparin.  our team brought heparin.  they are sick and lying on stretchers and bleeding. one nurse broke down today and said that last tuesday they were just cutting people limbs off that were crushed and they had nowhere to dispose of the body parts so they stacked them in front of the hospital for days.  when the smell became too much someone took care of them.  these people are young.  younger than me.  i havent seen an old person yet.  avg life expectancy is 51.  i feel so horrible.  they don’t have what they need and we are watching them die.  the nurses in haiti are terrible.  they don’t know how to care for their patients.  i have worked since we arrived at 2 with a short break to eat at 8.  i went back to check on my icu patient’s and the nurse that was caring for them was fast asleep.  i am learning pediatrics quickly.  so many babies that are sick.  some patients don’t have food to eat.  the hospital cannot feed them so if family does not bring food they simply do not eat.  i dont even want to eat.  the smells and sights have been overwhelming.  it is so primitive and i am having to be creative with supplies.  today i made a tourniqet with a rubber glove as i pinned a whaling 9 year old down.  they shaved skin from her thigh to graft skin to the lower section of her leg.  she left the or with no iv access.  i had to get a line in her to medicate her.  her parents were no where to be found.  i wanted to talk to her to calm her but i can’t understand the language.  even those fluent in french say it is no help.  the creole and slang is way too different.  i finally took a shower.  it was a slow drip and cold, but it was water.  i have sweat all day.  the hospital is a humid and hot building.  i think my comfort at this point is so menial.  pray for us and that more supplies will arrive.  we are in desperate need of medicines.  pray that i can be quick on my feet.  pray that my headache will go away and that the nausea will stop.  

i love you all.  i will try to keep in touch.  the internet is patchy here.