Friday, Jan. 15 - Posted by Keziah's parents, Peter & Beth Furth, 617-232-0121
Keziah was able to get through to us by cell phone this morning! Here is our attempt to put that conversation into a coherent form for all of you to understand.
Keziah was at the Quisqueya School when the quake hit. The building began to sway & shake, but the children and teachers were all able to get out onto the playing field. As far as she knows, no one at the school has been hurt.
Keziah walked from the Q.School to her own house; this involved climbing over rubble and seeing & hearing the wounded and panic-stricken. Though her neighborhood was not one of the hardest hit, Kez says there are too many damaged buildings to count. She found her own place standing and, though everything inside had fallen and been strewn about, there seems to be no structural damage.
She immediately packed up some medical supplies and began to tend to the wounded in her immediate neighborhood. For the first two days people who had been hurt came in a steady stream. Eventually she had 300 people camped out in a nearby empty lot where she was able to go amongst them giving pain meds, bandaging, stitching up wounds without surgical tools or sterile equipment, distributing antibiotics, and giving food and water.
Young boys in her neighborhood held candles or flashlights for her while Kez worked on people. One young man, "Gee", has been with her since the very beginning, serving as her bodyguard and medical assistant. Kez and Gee are taking care of the 300 in her field as well as walking at least five miles every day (Weds - Fri) throughout the Delmas area giving help to the hundreds of people who are living in fields, on the street, or in any open space. She says there are less and less wounded to tend to and now the stench of the dead is overwhelming as you walk the streets. Every collapsed house exudes the smell. While many of her "patients" are stabilized and will live, several have died.
The St. Joseph's Boys' Home across the street from Keziah's house suffered extensive damage, including the collapse of a five-story building. Kez's co-worker, Bill, was in that building when it began to "pancake". He jumped onto a neighboring roof, fell another story down, rolled from there onto another building and jumped to the ground. As he watched the building falling toward him, Bill was able to crawl to safety. He was lucky; at least one person died in the collapse.
Many have asked us how it was that Keziah was interviewed by ABC. Now we know: Bill has a relationship with ABC from trips to the US speaking out about the Haitian slave trade. His cell phone rang while Kez was treating him; one of the boys answered it and said "Bill can't talk to you - he's unconscious. Do you want to talk to the American nurse?" At first, Kez thought 'I can't take time to talk to reporters when people are bleeding!' But then she realized she could get the word out that help was needed. AND she had the presence of mind to ask that they contact us, her parents, to let us know she was alive!
After 30 straight hours of working among the wounded, Keziah took Bill to the Baptist Haiti Mission Hospital to get X-rays taken of his back. While Bill was on a hospital stretcher, Kez curled up on the floor and slept for a few hours. On Thursday night, she was in her own bed and was able to sleep for 6 hours, though she nursed Bill through the night as he continued in agonizing pain after his short hospital stay.
Keziah is receiving food and clean water from the St. Joe's Home. Most of the people are not so fortunate; food and water are becoming increasingly scarce. Kez believes that unless help comes soon, dogs will begin to be killed for food. No aid has reached this part of the city. They have seen no aid workers, no water trucks, no rescue teams. Helicopters have been seen overhead, but no contact has been made; there is no evidence that help has arrived. When I told Kez that the US Armed Forces were in P.auP. and that the Red Cross and rescue and medical teams from many countries were on the ground, she cried.
Kez's supplies are running low; she predicts that by Saturday she will have no bandages, no meds, and no water to give.
She has done all that she is capable of doing for her wounded. If help does not arrive soon, some will die needlessly.
Godspeed to the rescuers!