Tuesday, January 26th, 2010
Dr. Steve Nelson is back home in Quito now. He wrote this email as he was leaving Haiti after 10 days at the Baptist Haiti Mission Hospital in Fermathe, near Port au Prince.
Day 11, Jan 25, 2010
We have been listening to generators for the whole time we have been in Haiti … at least during the hours that we were working. I don’t know when the lights will get turned on in Haiti again, but they aren’t yet. The Haiti International airport is no exception. We are in the airport … full of generators … waiting for the flight back to Florida [and then to Quito].
We are going to miss our Haitian friends … both the patients in the hospital and the ones who worked alongside us the whole 10 days. With many of these fellow workers we didn’t even manage to exchange much in the way of words … just gestures and smiles.
You were praying for a new way to get patients up to the hospital last time and while we were hoping for something slightly more comfortable than a truck, it was indeed a truck we settled for. They came four at a time – closed femur fractures most of them – receiving 11 new patients for surgery that next day. Five came the following day as we finished up some of the cases that had been here since the beginning but that we had put on hold until we had the hardware to do things right.
We did rounds this morning and then headed off down here to the airport. Word was four more closed femurs were on their way to the hospital. This pace could go on for weeks as hospitals unload those cases they can’t handle in-house. Samaritan’s Purse is committed to the long haul here and four more new medical people are on their way in to arrive this afternoon. They will replace our orthopedic surgeon and anesthesiologist that are moving out with us. Pray for more Family Practice docs and nurses.
I went through the wards and said goodbye to my patients last night. Brave little kids with amputations and fractured limbs and pelvis … the most hurting ones squeezed out a smile anyway, while the ones that were feeling better had a glowing one fixed on their beautiful faces already.
We didn’t get the stories of these folks … except here and there … there just wasn’t time (nor translators). Still, stories we read later will fit correctly/sadly with the faces and folks we remember. One amazing thing about being here is we haven’t seen the news about what is going on here … the big picture that is. “The forest for the trees” I guess.
The Billy Graham people told us this morning that amidst all this pain and chaos, amidst all this suffering and loss, about 70 people got a good look at the loving, compelling face and person of Jesus and decided to follow him. Some of those 70 might get to see Him face to face in heaven soon. There are lots of complications to come. We lost two young men this week to pulmonary emboli after successfully treating their injuries. More will follow, so it’s a joy to add these 70 to the equation regarding why this is sooo “worth it”.
We are now in an airplane headed to Ft. Lauderdale. People will be talking basketball and super-bowl … or is that over already? My oh my what a change this will be.
Thank you for praying.
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