Call Today: (877) 966-7846 | (512) 439-1000
Texas Orthopedics, Sports & Rehabilitation Associates

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Prosthetics Update in Haiti

We are borrowing a computer from a missionary couple here on site so I have to type quickly and my thinking will most likely be a bit choppy...

Haiti is amazing. The country is beautiful and the people are very sweet. The amount of destruction due to the earthquake is hard to wrap my brain around. Last night the lead doctor on site told us her earthquake story. We have heard many things since coming down that I wish I did not have in my head. I know it helps to understand the level of need and the people we are working with but much of it is beyond horrible.

We currently have 5 legs in the works. I have taken on the role of prosthetic technician and Tim is teaching me alot. Yesterday the lead Haitian orthopedic surgeon brought 5 amputees to our lab and we spent the afternoon making casts and taking measurements for prosthesis. The surgeon had removed 3 of the patients legs using a saw. The level of trauma the Haitians have experienced is overwhelming. It is impossible to talk with someone and not break down as the tell you their earthquake story. Everyone here has been effected.

Today we drove an hour and half to the border of haiti and the Dominican republic to another orphanage/clinic where 47 amputees are being held while they wait for prosthetic teams to come by and make them legs and arms. We saw one woman who is missing her left arm and right leg, a 10 year old boy who is missing half of his foot, a dozen men and women missing an arm or a leg, two 5 year old girls who both lost a leg, and more I cant remember right now. It was overwhelming to know all of these 47 people lost their limbs due to the earthquake. Many were still experiencing phantom pains as they continued to adjust to life without their leg or arm.

On the way to the Love a Child clinic we drove up on two men who had just been hit by the local taxi truck (called a "tap tap"). One was slowly regaining consciousness and the other was not moving. A woman dumped a bucket of cold water on both of them to see if they would wake up. The first man walked dazedly to the side of the road and the second was not moving. The RN and PT who went with us jumped out to help and very quickly realized a large crowed was beginning to form and we needed to move on before anything more exciting started. It was hard to drive by knowing their was no medical help for miles but we had no other option. Just another day in Haiti...

It has rained the last two nights which has been exciting considering we are in a tent. It is also incredibly hot and humid which is wearing. We are working with a group of 50 from Canada as well as smaller groups from Ohio and Michigan. Everyone thinks its really cool that we are from California :).

There is alot of work to do and only a few more days to do it. We are trying to set up a system to pass along the current projects to the next prosthetist who will be coming next week. Since the prosthetic lab has only been open for 2 weeks, its all new for everyone.

Dinner is in about 30 minutes and we are going to walk down to the mid-week worship service going on at Church of Hope on site.


Tim and Amber

No comments:

Post a Comment