Last week, Angel Missions hosted a team of 13 medical personnel from Roanoke, Virginia. I got to work wtih them daily, running clinic and a mini pediatric ward on Delmas 24 at the site of the soon-to-be Surgery Center. We had 2 inpatients, discharged from the USNS Comfort to us: Christopher, an infant with hydrocephalus, and Ois, a 9 year old who suffered a broken femur and a severe head injury. When we picked him up, he was mostly non-responsive and very lethargic, but by the end of a week with our stellar team, he was obeying commands, communicating his needs, bonding with his caregivers, and sometimes being downright demanding! It was a very emotional group of Americans who saw him off to another hospital when it came time to leave.
The team did a great job balancing the needs in the ward with the daily work in the clinic. We had at least four docs or nurse practitioners seeing patients at all times and each one had a nurse assisting with meds and dressings. For them, I think it may have been a bit disappointing that most of the complaints were simple everyday Haiti issues, but for me, it was a wonderful sign that we are recovering. More heartburn and less gruesome wounds!!
Since their departure, I have heard several patients asking for the "white doctors" and many more expressing their gratitude for the many days of clinic. And now we await their return to Haiti!