The soft Caribbean breeze is against my skin, the waves forcefully crash against the rocks, the Canadian flag waves proudly from the pole that is centered at the Task Force campground and port of Jacmel. Our team is exhausted.
Anesthesia providers, surgeons, med-peds attendings and an enthusiastic medical student have outlasted their Canadian counterparts. Captain Joiner turns to retire at 200AM in anticipation for meeting tomorrow's challenges. Before she left our presence she removed her helmet and body armor to ask about our tiny patient. For the first time tears of concern are now visibly rolling down her face as she realizes the power of compassion and the innate ability that this little one is displaying in his quest for survival. The Captain also feels helpless because she does not have the resources to help us evacuate this unfortunate child. This is clearly too much for her to handle and our guardian angel states, "You all are incredible, eh!"
She quietly walks away.
All is quiet now and the heat is taking its toll on all of us. Even at 5:00AM the humidity is sweltering. We had run out of options. Baby Frantz might die in the morning because of our lack of adequate oxygen supply and his continued desaturations and pulmonary dysfunction.
(Pictured Above: The anesthesia machine and even a monitor we were able to salvage from the structurally weakened operating room.)
We were once again dejected and praying for the safety of this child.
But you know what?
MIRACLES DO HAPPEN INDEED!!
At 830AM, January 27th, 2010, one Colonel Paulette Schank, an anesthesiologist, career soldier and Christian mother of two children who graduated from in Pennsylvania (coincidentally, my alma mater) pulled off the impossible.
Out of the sky descended a newly established "angel"- a medivac helicopter from the USS Comfort. While our US military did not have any presence in Jacmel the entire time we were there, they did not abandon us in our time of need. Another sign from Our and the fact that He is in control. He has NEVER let us down.
Not now and not ever.
Baby Frantz and his parents are now safe as we delivered the Future of Mother Haiti in our makeshift incubator. In an instant I think of all of my blog entry titles.
Mother Haiti Will Live On.
We are in the Dominican Republic. God grant us safe passage home.
Dr. Steven A. Johnson
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