Global Health Team Prepares to Depart Haiti
Final thoughts sent back from a few team members as they prepare to depart Haiti on Wednesday morning on a plane provided by Partners In Health:
We all leave here wanting to do so much more. The Haitian people have taught us more than we could ever have taught them in the context of this natural disaster. Hopefully, this will be an ongoing initiative to assist the Haitians toward a stronger health care system overall.
The experiences we bring back to CHOP will be diverse yet tied together with a common thread. The pain and suffering is crushing... the strength and resilient nature of these people inspiring.
Many of our nights were in the "ICU" tent taking care of families who now have come to know our faces and names. These families are dedicated to the care of their loved ones, standing by to provide drinking water or assist with other personal needs. They sit vigil 24 hours a day, sleeping on cardboard boxes under the hospital cots at night -- even the patient's children.
Each night we bring water and energy bars from our camp to hand out to these families as there is no other food or drink available during overnight hours. By the end of the week, they would anticipate our needs as well, and jump to assist us whenever they were able.
They often sit and chant prayers. We've been told by our interpreter, Charles, they include us in many blessings for the kind care we give their loved ones. They have such resolve and clarity to what their reality is, and showed grace and patience as we adapted.
Death happens here. The resources are minimal. Antibiotics are in abundance, but suction and ventilators are not. There are no monitors, no 24-hour labs, no replacement linens or hoppers to empty waste. It helps us understand what the effect of inadequate infrastructures has on a community.
We all look forward to returning to our families stronger, humbled and eternally grateful for the opportunity we've had here. Haiti is far from what we expected. It is profoundly richer.