MMRC Update – Haiti 09/04/2010

Posted: September 4, 2010 in Uncategorized
For the last 6 days I have tried to find the time to update the blog but things have been so insanely busy that I haven’t even had time to sleep. Let’s just say that so much has happened that I am currently going through my Facebook posts to refresh my memory since all of this is a huge blur. The energy that is around us in contagious and we are seeing so much progress in our objectives. 
So here we go with the updates….   
 Junior’s House: As many of you know we have been working with Junior since the earthquake. He is a very dedicated man with a heart of gold and he keeps his ears and eyes peeled to make sure we don’t get into to much trouble. Well, he lost his house due to the earthquake and has been living with us and in his tent city over the last 8 months. We finally got a chance to scrounge up some supplies so about a week ago, LP took all of the guys to Juniors house to begin cleaning everything up. The task was daunting at first because the cleanup that needed to be done was extensive. It took a little over 4 days for 7 guys to get all of the rubble off of Juniors property and prep the site for construction. The biggest challenge faced was having to break up and move all of the compacted rubble. It was bricks mangled with blocks mangled with rebar. So after 4 long days of cleanup they got the ground ready and LP has started securing the existing structure and is ready to move to the next phase. We are currently trying to scrounge up enough plywood and metal sheets to have his house built by Monday, but it would be alot easier if we could just buy it. Please help us get these supplies before I have to go the local courts and explain why LP was driving a flatbed truck, that wasn’t ours, with a load of “borrowed” lumber. I’m just kidding, but seriously, let’s get Juniors house built. As soon as I get some photos from the job I will post them online. 

Malnourished Baby: 5 days ago a 6 month old boy weighing 3 kilos was brought in to Medishare by his parents. Aside from the obvious malnutrition they were concerned about his cough and fever. I believe Amelia was the nurse that was monitoring him the first night and everyone was gravely concerned that he would not make it through the night. When i saw him for the first time it was 3 days into his stay and Liz brought him to my attention. She asked if I knew of any malnutrition centers that could help this little guy. After 2 days of phone calls and emails we were able to get him placed over at Hospital de la Paix where they were more well equipped to treat him and get him fattened up. Yesterday was the day of the move and after a brief conversation with the Cubans that we work with down there we were on our way over. Amelia and myself took the little guy over where they did a thorough exam, a chest x-ray for tuberculosis, and re-weighed him. He came in at 3.5 kilos so they took him right in to the ICU and are taking great care of him. 

19yr old girl with unknown illness transfer: Once again we did a transfer from one hospital to another where we had to be very discreet. This one was quite a bit more critical than the last as our patient was a 19yr old girl with a 105 degree fever and seizing. I had Micaela and Liz with me during the transfer taking care of her in the back of the ghetto sled while I had her mother in the front with me. The traffic was beyond ridiculous but with some creative thinking and a heavy foot we made it to the receiving hospital in less than 15 minutes. Granted I had to drive into oncoming traffic, hop on to the curb to miss a dump truck, cut through some construction, blow through a red light, and the best part was when I “nudged” a water truck in front of me so I could get into the left hand turn lane right behind the UN truck. There was a UN guard in the back so I flagged him to come over and when he saw the girl in the truck he got his driver to stop traffic for us so we could rip through that intersection and get to the hospital. In the end we got her there safely, they got her temperature down and stabilized her. She was there for 3 days and yesterday, we transferred her back to the care of her primary physician and she appears to be doing so much better.   

The Girls: We have been so lucky to have some great people work with us. They have been such an impact on our lives and have been instrumental in helping us reach our objectives. To anyone that has worked with us we thank you for your commitment to our cause. Over the last 10 days we have had a few members join our team and some have recently left. 

Princess Christina – She came back for 3 weeks and it went by way to fast. There was only one time she had to go to her happy place but thanks to her we had breakfast and lunch for us everyday and in addition to that she set the bar on how to make quick work of some rubble. I think the guys were a little intimidated by her since she outworked most of them and always had them on their toes. She always kept a level head with us and is such an asset to our team. She left yesterday and is sorely missed. We love you girl and can’t wait to see you again.

Mighty Micaela – This girl is a workaholic. We worked with Micaela for several months before she took an extended break back in Seattle. I guess being responsible and having to move will do that to a person. She was here for 2 weeks and we got to see her almost every day. She even did some rubble removal with us but only after we got a picture of her before she got all dirty. She is an ER nurse back home and had to leave to go back to school to become an NP. Thank you for everything you’ve taught me Micaela and always letting me play in your ER.

Broken Bum Jana – This girl came to us by way of Jen from Medishare and when we got her she was all busted up with a broken tail bone and a huge bruise on her left cheek. I guess she and some friends were out drinking the night before she came in to stay with us and she thought it would be a good idea to hop a 7 foot wall to get to the beach. Let’s just say that when the guys tried to help her over the fence they tossed her a little too hard and she never had a chance to get her balance. Now that I’ve embarrassed her a little let me tell you guys a more about her. She’s a traveling pediatric ER nurse who always has a smile on her face. She knows her stuff, stays calm in any situation, is willing to help out in anywhere she is needed, and thanks to her and an 18ga IV I am feeling so much better. We’ve all become pretty close friends and we can’t wait to see her again. Be safe Jana and come back soon.

Zedrena the Shreeker – This girl has a set of pipes on her that challenges any siren I’ve used on the ambulances over the last 7 months. Hailing from Candialand, Zedrena is working on capturing the title for “Most easily freaked out by MMRC driving”. LP and I have so much fun with her in the car because she yelps, screeches and gasps any time we get near another car. My favorite was when we were going up to JP/HRO and I passed a car on a narrow road and had to quickly cut back in to my lane to avoid a bus traveling at a high rate of speed. In all honesty, she is a wonderful ER nurse who is on her second tour in Haiti. She leaves on Monday so let’s cross our fingers that I can get at least one last holler out of her.

Lina: If you recall a while back we began helping out a sweet woman named Lina with her chemotherapy treatment. It is with a sad heart that i found out last week that she passed away. Our condolences go to her and her family. 

Men’s Journal: Check out the October issue of Men’s Journal for a write up they are doing on us.

Misc: Some of the other things that we’ve been doing is helping out with power outages (thank you to IMC for lending us a generator), taking the guys to the beach for the first time in their lives, and helping out at Medishare with patient care and other transfers.  

I want to send out a special thanks to the entire Tillman clan for everything they are/have been doing to help us with funding. A special shout out to the whole Flip Cup Tournament organziers and participants for helping us get our work done here.  

Overall we are working our butts off to stay here in Haiti. There is so much to do and with the dwindling volunteer support our need to be here is much greater. Please help us by donating to MMRC.  

I love you all dearly  

Big Paul  


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