Good evening all,
I first want to start out by saying "Merci Beau Coup" for all of the kind words, well wishes and insightful thoughts. Today was a good day like Ice Cube's old school hit that we bobbed our heads too and felt good about.
Our day started with the best oatmeal I have ever had in life!! Cinnamon flavored and melting in your mouth. The Haitian woman who has prepared the breakfast only snickers at me as I inhaled two bowls in
front of her. I haven't eaten much because of my excitement and committment to working tirelessly. Not to mention the 90 degree heat. Last night I left you with frustration and exhaustion. Today I speak to you with much more encouragement and elation.
At 7AM we arrived at Saint Michael Hospital here in Jacmel, Haiti.Our entire team met up with physicians from Inova Fairfax Hospital in VA and began to triage patients and provide the optimal care for them. As I approached the outdoor corridor to begin to try to once again establish an operating room. I was greeted by Roland, the funny Cuban anesthesiologist from Cuba. He pulled me to the side and asked for my Florida State Seminole scrub cap. For those of you that don't know, a scrub cap is that "hat" most surgeon's wear in the operating room. For me as part of my operating room style, I like to wear colorful scrub caps with college football logos on them. He likes the maroon/red color as it reminds him of his native Cuba. He also requested a New York Yankees scrub cap because of C.C. Sabatha. I quickly let him know that as a Philly boy, C.C. Sabatha was washed up, needed to lose about 20 and those songs about New York from Sinatra to Jay-Z and Alicia Keys stink. Oh yeah Mr. Roland, the Yanks will have to see the Phils again. We got a quick laugh and I promised once again that I would give him my information for future contact and grant him his Fla. St. scrub cap wish.I will leave him with Tennesee, Duke, and Michigan State.
Enough kidding around!! Today God demonstrated to me just how great a force he is. Discouragement and disappointment has now turned to elation and excitement. For you see today WE WON the RACE. We met a team from Illinois and the tri-state plus region (Philly, Jersey and B'more).They had two anesthesiologists with medications and the desire to provide assistance in getting us up and running. Let me tell you, they were a godsend. The Philly raised anesthesiologist fixed the broken anesthesia machine in the swaying operating room. New York?? One word, Philly!
With my other surgical coleagues we have done five cases for the day and have had great results. First, was little 4 year old Louis (Lu-eee). He had a cut to the undersurface of his chin during the quake and now had an abscess. I drained his abscess and as he hugged me goodbye he changed my life forever. I hope to see him again before I leave Haiti. He must fight all odds to survive in his poverty stricken nation. His follow up is on Monday. The others faired well including a man who needed a hernia repair. He was doing well when I left this evening at 630PM. In addition, I also rounded with the Cubans and the Haitians and saw all of the patients on the ward to look at all wounds and schedule surgeries for tomorrow. I find that WE as a team are gaining trust with our multinational colleagues. They now have a different perception of Americans without a doubt.Even with the Cubans and Haitians flying their rrespective flags on the tents I have that our team put a banner with the title OR 7... Haiti, Cuba, Canada, US". Wr hope to make a point without pounding our chests.
Our Father in Heaven NEVER let's us down. He only tests us to see if our faith will be everlasting and durable. Today was an affirmation of this FACT.
WE are clearly making a difference. Tonight as I walk back to the compound where we are staying, my colleagues who are not surgeons have made a clinic with babies, adolescents and adults lining the streets seeking medical attention. Our supplies are strong, the people are determined to move on with their lives and I am proud of our efforts to make something out of NOTHING.
AND THEN THERE WAS LIGHT!!
- Doc J.