I believe that today was the first true EMS call that has happened in PAP that was not earthquake related.

At approximately 10:45am we received calls from multiple sources that there was a multi vehicle, multi trauma accident with anywhere from 9-14 victims on Route 9 near the intersection of Route 1. It turns out that a bystander called it in to IMC and GRU. From there both groups called MMRC and asked us to get an ambulance and respond. We geared up and headed over to the general to get both ambulances and respond code 3.

It turns out that only 1 of the ambulances was fueled up and ready to go so Sully, Miki, Riann and myself headed out. LP and Ralph were going in the second rig once it had fuel in it.

En route to the accident I called Medishare and informed them of the information we had been given. They began their preparations for up to 14 trauma victims and asked for an update when we arrived. It took us about 20 minutes to get there from the general and thankfully when we arrived there was only 1 victim.

It turns out that a truck went off the road, rolled and hit a tree. The patient we had was the driver and he had been ejected from his seat. We briefly searched for other victims and asked the crowd to confirm that no one else was hurt. Truthfully, the driver had almost no chance of living but when Riaan checked his vitals he felt a thready pulse with no spontaneous respirations so we had to do everything we could to save him and get him to Medishare.

We put in an LMA and started bagging him immediately. It was our first time using an LMA in the field but it went in without any problems and we were getting decent tidal movement.

As we were treating him on scene, putting on a C-collar, and securing him to a back board Sully was clearing a path for us through the fallen trees. I’ve never been so glad that he carries that 18″ knife with him everywhere he goes. After some hacking and chopping Sully had cleared a usable path for us to get through.

So we have him secured to the back board and get him on the rig. Riaan is suctioning all the blood out, Miki is bagging him and I’m about to throw in a line when he codes and we have to team him. I toss everything into the cubby on the rig and since I have the best angle I began compressions with one hand while I’m holding on to the railing in the rig for dear life since the driver is driving like a bat out of hell.

We end up doing CPR for the next 15 minutes until we arrived at Medishare and the patient is pronounced dead.

Now as sad as this is there really was no chance for survival. He had multiple flail segments on his right chest, multiple head trauma, significant facial trauma and was completely unresponsive.

The other thing to keep in mind is that with more work and training the system can work here. Protocol was followed, the driver did his job, communications between hospitals and first responders was clear, and now at least one person knows that they can call for help.

I know there is so much more that needs to be done to make this work, but you have to start somewhere. As unfortunate it is that this man died, his death is a landmark for improvement. When his brother approached me and asked me if he was dead or not I had to tell him that his brother had passed. All this man did was thank us for trying and then he told me it was all in God’s hands and we were angels sent to him to try and save his brother.

In the end this man’s death, though unfortunate was not needless. Now we know what else has to be done here to make Haiti a better place.

After everything that happened today there is one last thing I want to announce. We are beginning to teach basic first aid and first responder classes. It started tonight actually at Medishare when Riaan taught 5 OR personnel the very basics. The class went very well and the students are hungry for more. We’ve spoken to some of our police contacts and will be teaching them next week. I’m so glad to say the MMRC is doing its part to leave a legacy in Haiti.

This also leads me to another point. We have so much to do here and today was historical. As I have been going over our finances it is apparent that without major help we will not be able to stay here past the end of September. Please donate so we can stay here and make a positive change that will last generations. Please pass this on to every person and business you know of.

I am literally on my knees begging you to do this because if we can’t raise $20,000 in the next 2 weeks we will have to execute our exit strategy and be gone by September 30. If this happens it will leave so many Haitians without a chance for a better life.

Please go to http://www.mmrc-us.org and donate today.

All my love to everyone that reads this.

Big Paul

I find that the 1130pm blog updates are seem to be the most entertaining since I’m half asleep and exhausted. It’s nice that I can do them from my phone but the downside is that I ramble a bit too much. Things have been going pretty smoothly and we’ve picked up a couple of new recruits. I’ll talk about them in a bit. So now for the fun stuff.

Let start off by saying that the Haiti diet is the best way to lose weight. Between the flop sweating, mass consumption of water and overall repetitive diet I have lost almost 65 pounds since my first trip here. Jenny Craig ain’t got nothin on Haiti. The bad thing is that I am still out of shape. Granted I’ve had to have people bring me new clothes because all my original pants would fall off me and the 3-4x shirts looked like tents on me. I’m now at a 40 inch waist and a 2x shirt.

Now, back to the out of shape thing.

This morning a few of us had to go to the General today to transfer a pre-term momma to Adventist hospital. She is TB positive and about 30 weeks along. Contractions were 10 minutes apart so we had to get her to a place that was much more well equipped to handle the mom and baby.

So, back to how we got to the hospital.

LP was dropping Tuwanda, Jeanne and Ellen off at a clinic near the Embassy so we had to walk to the hospital. It’s only about 1.5 miles but the fun part is that you get to dodge traffic and pedestrians while at a very brisk pace. I was on the phone with Megan about this patient and it was apparent that we had to get her out of there and to Adventist asap. About 6 blocks from the hospital I told the boys we had to pick it up so we started running. Now please try and picture this. 2 marines and a fat guy running the streets of PAP. The marines look like they are in great shape. They’re running in unison, have great form and are weaving through cars. They don’t even look tired and they’re barely breathing hard.

And then there’s the fat guy…. ME

I’ve got one hand on my back pack to keep it from flailing everywhere and the other on my belt to keep my pants from falling off. I’m trying to not get hit by cars that I can’t see because the sweat is flowing so profusely down my face it is blinding me. I’m beet red and am huffing and puffing so hard that the locals can’t stop starring at me. And the best part is, you can’t stop this much momentum without a few hundred yards notice.

So after about 3 blocks I holler at Sully that he can run if he wants but poppa bear is going to have to keep it at a brisk pace. We finally arrive at the General and I am sweating so bad that I look like R. Kelly at a Chucky Cheese and I’m so hot I can’t even form complete sentences. Oh ya, I almost forgot, but my pants are soaking wet and my grey shirt is dripping.

After being there for about 15 minutes we get the ok to use an ambulance, we load up the patient and Michelle, Sully, Riaan and myself head over to the Adventist hospital with her. The best part is that I still can’t stop sweating but now I have to wear gloves and a mask the whole time we are en route and try to comfort a very scarred mother. Brooke was expecting us when we arrived and she made sure everything went through smoothly.

As we drove back I had a chance to look down at myself and it is apparent that I’m a hot mess. I just wish I had video of this so I could just see what the locals got to witness.

Anyway, everything went smoothly and I’m going to call Brooke tomorrow to see how momma is doing.

Now for the other great news. We recently had 2 guys join our team. Sully and Riaan. They are both Marines and were with another NGO but joined us because they know how hard we are working and the great things we are accomplishing. I’ve known Sully for a while and he is a riot. Though he may be a grunt and a little rough around the edges he has a heart of gold and wants what’s best for the people here. I just met Riann but I can already tell that he is willing to do whatever it takes to make this a better place. Tomorrow we are starting the very first EMS class over at Medishare.

In other news the girls are doing great and I’m so glad they are here. We get to keep Tuwanda for another week before she has to go home. It looks like we are going to be doing exams on some of the female prisoners so they can be released. I’m not sure what they did to ge there but their time has been up and all they need is a doctor to examine them so they can go home.

We still have no new news on the nun orphanage. I’m getting so frustrated with this. If anyone has contacts with CNN, Fox News, Al Jezeera, or any other huge network please let me know. This story has to go public if any change is going to happen.

Finally, we are going to buy our truck tomorrow so wish us luck. Hopefully the new ghetto sled won’t be too much of a POS but we’ll have to see.

I’m signing off for now. Good night everyone.

Peace

I’ve received quite a few hints/suggestions that I update my blog since it has been a while. I just want to preface this blog entry by saying that it is 11:30pm and I’m laying on my bed-o-pallet/mattress and it has been a long day. I’m posting this entry from my blackberry so please forgive the typos and rambling you are about to experience.

With that being said here goes nothing.

Over the last 2 weeks we have accomplished a tremendous amount of work thanks to some killer people that have been helping us. Heather Walsh a.k.a. “crazy brookyn broad” was with us for 2 weeks. I love this girl not only because she is completely nuts but she has a heart as big as her butt.

Man this girl has a huge heart.

Heather is an ER nurse from Brooklyn who doesn’t take anyone’s crap, will do absolutely anything to help someone in need, will sacrifice all personal comforts to share what she has, but most importantly, she always teaches people how to do things the right way. She has been working closely with Jeanne and Ellen and has taught them so many things. I loved watching these three girls in action together because I knew there was nothing to worry anout. Heather went home today and her presence is greatly missed.
Pigpen was back for a week and it was so good to see her. We picked up right were we left off and she was her spunky, outgoing, meeting planning self. While at home she got a tattoo of some of the graffiti on the wall of the general hospital and her artist did a great job. The best part was that within 2 hours of being in PAP she was sweaty and grimey and had hit the ground running.

Mike Hague is still with us and is doing a lot of good work here. It’s nice to have another driver and he has helped tremendously with his connections. Currently Mike is working on getting us supplies that are so greatly needed.

Jeanne and Ellen. Can I just say that I love these girls. I’ll admit that when they first got here I was a little concerned about throwing them to the wolves but they have surpassed any challenge they’ve been faced with. They’ve been working with Megan Coffee quite a bit in the TB tents and doing an amazing job.

What I’m about to say may be a little embarrasing to them, but it wouldn’t be right if I didn’t tell this story. On either the first or second day here I had them practice starting IV’s on me becuase you don’t get a lot of hands on time while in nursing school. I have to admit they were very professional in setting everything up and were not hesitant at all about shoving a needle in me. Jeanne went first and stuck me in the wrist per my request. Maybe I should have let her decide. She was poking and prodding trying to get my vein and when she couldn’t Heather stepped in to show her. At first Heather couldn’t find it but what she did do that was a lot of fun was to pull the IV halfway out to try a different approach. Now as fun as that sounds imagine having a string of sandpaper pulled out of your arm. After a little cursing, and Heather laughing at me, I politely asked her to let Jeanne try again. So, the IV is still in me, Heather is laughing, I’m trying to relax and Jeanne is now going on a fishing trip in my arm. All of a sudden I feel a jolt of electricity shoot down my hand. It was really unexpected and that’s the point that I asked Jeanne if she wouldn’t mind stopping and trying again later. She didn’t get frustrated and I knew she could do it but I can be a hard stick at times.

Now, on to Ellen. We go to my right hand for this one. After a bit we got the right amount of tightness on the tourniquet and she went for the hand. Impressively she got me on the first stick. Shockingly when blood started to flow out of the IV in my hand she grabbed her cheeks and said “oh crap”. Now, I’m no nurse but if someone is bleeding I think you’re supposed to put pressure on the patient not the nurse. Smooches Ellen. I reached over and put a finger on the vein just above the IV sight and stopped the bleeding. Ellen jumped right back in a setup the line and made sure it didn’t infiltrate.

Back to Jeanne. It turns out I had another good hand she could use and so she did. She got the IV in my hand right away on this one and I really didn’t even feel it. So now I’m looking like a pin cushion but I have the priviledge to say that I was their first sticks in Haiti.

Like I said these girls are great. I went to get them from the TB tents today and there they were. Each of them with their own patients sticking in IV’s without any problems and on the first try. Overall these girls have really been working hard, they learnvery quickly and I’m proud that they are part of MMRC.

Tuwanda is with us for another 10 days and it is so good to see her back again. She’s a doctor from Chicago who is very good and really loves what she does. She’s been to a couple of orphanges already and will probably be helping in the clinic at the general tomorrow.

The other big news is that LP is back from France. He got in last night and I could feel a huge weight being lifted from shoulders. Speaking of shoulders, he got a tap tap tattooed on his shoulders. I’ll get some photos of it and put it on the blog soon. He put on a few pounds that he desperately needed and is in great spirits.

So that’s the update on the people with us. Now on to what we’ve been doing.

ORPHAN GIRLS….

Nothing yet. Marc Luben has been doing everything he can but it seems that everything is at a stand still. I receive daily updates on the progress but it seems that since it is run by nuns they are untouchable. I do know that the case was presented directly to President Preval but nothing is being done. I wish there was a way to show the world what is going on here and how our hands are tied in this matter. I’m hoping that some of the major networks will hear about this and contact us to help expose what is going on.

MIAMI….
I took 3 days off last week and jumped over to Miami. My original plan was to relax but I ended up working about 18 hours a day on MMRC. Granted, it wasn’t as relaxing but I did get a lot of things done that were weighing heavily on my mind. While I was gone Pigpen, Heather and Mike ran the show and did an amazing job. When I got back on Saturday it was great to see that they had organized all of the supplies, picked up 2 pallets of food and disributed a boat load of supplies.

Overall things are humming along quite well. Michelle and I went and assessed a camp in Carefour today. It looks like they need a functioning water supply and medical teams. We’ve also been doing transfers in the pickup and have had various teams come to the compound to pick up supplies.

There is one more thing I want to say before I pass out from exhaustion.

I want to send out a huge thank you to Patricia Aquette for an amazing donation she made. It turns out that our rental agreement on our truck expired and we were going to be without a vehicle. When I was chatting with Patricia about her projects this came up and she donated $4000 to us to buy a truck. We are so grateful to her for this because now we can keep doing our work here.

It’s thanks to all of you that donate to us that we can survive out here. Funds are dangerously low and we need your help. I’m working on getting to NY for a few weeks to try and raise money because unless a miracle comes through we will have a truck but no place to sleep. If you can donate to our group it would be so appreciated. I just changed hosting service for the website so it may be down for a little bit. If you want to make a donation please email me and let me know.

That’s what I’ve got for now but I will write more frequently. If you have want to donate to MMRC plesse do so. Our mission here is very impotant and we need to stay here to help make a difference. Please Donate.

Ok everyone, my eyes are crossed becuase I’m so tired. Be good out tthere and send money please.

Peace.

Quick update on the orphanage with the abused girls.  On Tuesday we met at with the Medishare pediatricians, a cabinet member, presidential aide, and the Mayor of the city the orphanage is in.  We did not get a definitive answer as to what they are going to do but we were told to standby and they will call with a date and time for their extraction.  We have not heard anything yet and are still impatiently waiting.  We have done everything in our power to this point and now it’s up to the officials to make the call.  I guess the church has a pretty strong hold on the government here so we will keep praying for these little girls.

I didn’t want to distract from the seriousness of this situation by talking about other things we are doing but since we have some down time while waiting I thought it would be good to let everyone know what other things MMRC has going on.

Tetanus Vaccine Distribution – Late Saturday afternoon I received a call from Dan over at IMC and he informed me that the 299th CSH had 8,000 doses of Tetanus (Td) Vaccine that they needed to move or it would have to be destroyed.  I immediately said yes to it knowing that it would move quickly.  Dan originally said we had to pick it up by 10am Sunday morning but then called back saying that we had to get it by 6 am.  If any of you know me well you know I hate mornings, but this is a rare exception to the rule.  We got up at 4:45am on Sunday, drove to the base, got the Td, and headed home.  By the way, the 8,000 vaccines turned out to be 9,500 doses and it filled the back of the pickup truck.

One the way back we had a little delay when I got stopped by a cop for supposedly running a red light.  Whatever.  he took my licence, gave me a ticket and we were on our way.  While en route to the house I called everyone I could think of that could get to us right away and handle a large volume of vaccines.  By noon we had moved out all of the vaccines to different organizations and we also distributed 9 pallets of supplies to those that came.  I find it really easy to move extra supplies that we have when you can bribe/bait the other NGO’s with vaccines.  It’s like chumming.  BTW, I got my license back on Monday (Don’t ask)…

Lina –

Jessica and Matt this one is for you guys.  We did our first round of chemotherapy today on Lina today.  She is a wonderful woman who is suffering from cervical cancer and went to the states for treatment but from what I understand there wasn’t much that could be done short term.  Matt and Jessica have been working with her for a while and they brought her back to Haiti about 2 weeks ago.  So today we did our first treatment.  PJ, our resident compounding pharmacist (local drug dealer) did an amazing job of managing her pain and making sure everything was mixed perfectly.  Lina was a hard stick and she was also pretty dehydrated when she came in.  After 7 attempts by 2 nurses and a doc, Tina finally got a 22g in her hand so we could hydrate her enough to get the 18g in her that was needed for treatment.  After her first liter of fluids it was time for the chemo and the resident Haitian anesthesiologist did an amazing job at getting her EJ (external jugular) IV set up.  We had to do it at this site since her veins were not in good condition.  Once the IV was in we did the chemo on her.  She never got nauseous and seemed comfortable while going through this whole process that took 7 hours.  Lina is a beautiful woman and it is so unfortunate that this is happening to her.  She is in our prayers and we hope the best for her.

That’s about all I can think of for now.  My mind is all over the place and every time I sat down to blog today I had to go do something so please forgive the grammatical errors.  We’ve got a lot of things planned for the next couple of weeks and I am really looking forward to having Jeanne, Ellen, Pigpen, Heather, and Tuwanda with us this month.  We are going to be hitting up a few new orphanages that need help, and we are hoping to gain access to some warehouses full of food and supplies. 

As you all know we are working as hard as we can to make things happen here.  There are so many people who depend on us and there are so many kids that we need to help.  Above all we need to be here and we need your help.  I’m asking everyone to read this to please donate whatever you can to our cause, even if it’s only $10.  Your donations go straight to the work we are doing and directly to helping the people of Haiti.  You can make your donations through our website at www.mmrc-us.org 

Thank you so much for your emails and your emotional support but now I am asking all of you for financial help.  I am working on getting grants since the work we are doing is so much bigger than us, and I want to do a speaking tour with LP in the beginning of August to help raise awareness and funding to our cause.  If you know of any groups we can talk to that can help us with funding please email me and let me know. 

I love all of you and thank you for all your support. 

Big Paul

I know it’s been a while since I’ve blogged but I chose to not discuss what has been going on with a project we have been working on for discretion purposes.  The situation is almost resolved and within the next 2-3 days we will have helped save 65 girls from a very abusive orphanage run by local nuns.  The problem that we are facing is that we are dealing with a church sponsored orphanage and the nuns have some type of political asylum for their actions.  We have assembled an incredible team of locals and volunteers and soon the girls will be relocated and properly cared for.  Here is what has happened so far.

On Thursday the 8th, we were contacted by the Israeli Flying Aid (IFA) team here on the ground and they told us about this orphanage.  IFA had been working with this orphanage for several months since the earthquake and 4 weeks ago they had been asked to leave by the nuns.  When IFA arrived the living conditions were squalid, all of the girls were severely malnourished, most of them had scabies and worms, there was no clean water, there was no sanitation, and their living quarters were filthy and overcrowded, and most of the girls were physically and mentally traumatized. 

On the contrary the nuns were all overweight and constantly eating, their clothes were always clean, they each had their own bedroom and shared 3 bathrooms between the 8 of them, and they had no problems disciplining the girls.

At first IFA did not want to accept that the nuns were abusing the girls but after a short time they realized that these women were the source of the problem.  For months they worked at the orphanage cleaning the place, providing medical treatment and generally trying to improve their living conditions.  That was until 4 weeks ago when they were forced out by the nuns. 

That is when the girls from IFA contacted MRMC and asked for our help.  We met with them and once we were told of the situation we knew that we could not do this alone so I called up Marc Luben.  Marc is a Haitian born, American raised man who has returned to Haiti to make his country a better place.  He is retired special forces and now is a consultant to the highest officials here and has the ability to regulate on many matters to correct wrong doings.  I knew we needed him in on this so we set a meeting for the 9th. 

As we continued to talk with the IFA girls about the situation at hand, Lisa (IFA member) received a call that one of the girls had gone to the hospital the night before and died.  This set off so many red flags because just 2 days prior that girl was healthy and normal.  We ended our meeting short, Mike called his UNICEF rep, I put together a mini trauma bag and we all headed over to check on the girls. 

When we arrived I was not surprised at what I saw.  Sick little girls running around naked, 4 of the girls were doing all of the laundry, 2 of the nuns sleeping in their beds, an open water cistern that any of the girls could fall in and drown, a filthy outdoor kitchen, girls under the age of 3 laying on dirt floors, and the list goes on and on.  We had the names of some of the girls that were currently sick and we immediately set out to find them in the crowd.  While looking for the 4 sick girls we discovered that there were 3 others that had high fevers and needed immediate medical attention.  I called Jen over at Medishare and she gave us the green light to bring them all over for exams.  Thankfully there were 5 pediatricians at Medishare and they could see all of the girls.

After much negotiation between the UINICEF rep and the nuns they finally agreed to let us take 7 girls with us and send 2 nuns.

We got them to Medishare where all 7 were examined and given medicines.  Most of them were pretty dehydrated but since they could tolerate drinking Pedialyte we gave them as much as they could drink.  One of the girls had a pretty bad fungal infection on her head that had gone untreated and one had an abscess on her throat that had to be drained.  All of the girls were seen, medications were sent home with them and the girls received some much-needed TLC.

All this happened on July 8th. 

On Friday, July 9th, Medishare sent over 4 Pediatricians to help with the vaccinations that were being given to the girls.  During their time their the doctors noticed that most of the girls had burns, cuts, and scars that can only be from being beaten and as a form of punishment.  The doctors returned from the orphanage and wrote extensive reports on their findings for us to give to the authorities.  They also brought 3 girls to the hospital that had developed high-grade fevers and the 1 girl who was admitted for further treatment because she had been there the day before and the nuns withheld her medications.  When asked where the meds were at the nuns said that they could not find them.  My personal opinion is that they sold the medications.

Saturday, July 10th, we worked on getting all of the reports together so we could present our findings to the government.

Sunday, July 11th, Marc set up meetings with Cabinet Members, Presidential Aides, and the Minister of Women’s Affairs.  We informed all of them of our findings and asked for their help in this matter.  They all agreed that something had to be done to protect the girls but it had to be done in a certain order since we are dealing with protected nuns.  We had to be patient and go through the proper channels or we would not be able to help the girls.

Monday, July 12th.  We were hoping to get the girls out yesterday but due to the observation of the 6 month anniversary of the earthquake everything came to a halt.  Marc tried his best to get through to the decision makers but as you can imagine they were tied up with other matters.

So that leads us to today.  Right now I am waiting to hear back from Marc concerning the extraction date.  We have a wonderful orphanage run by Gerald and Junior Batai that is ready to receive them.  Please note that this is not the same Gerald Batai that was recently featured in the Ney York Times.  That guy is actually a fraud and is using the real Gerald’s name to try to get sponsors from the states.  We have psych teams in place to start working with these girls and we are also going to be delivering food to Gerald’s place to make sure the girls are fed. 

Here are some of the photos that Alan took of what has transpired since we’ve become involved.  I will update everyone as soon as this is over and let you know what is going on. 

MMRC in the news

Posted: July 9, 2010 in Uncategorized

Hi Everyone,

So things have been popping up about what we are doing here and I wanted to share some of them with y’all (Did I spell that right Jeanne).

Anyway, here you go.  I’ll post more as they come in.

#1 Sent from Linda Wagner in AZ – http://www.abc15.com/dpp/news/region_phoenix_metro/central_phoenix/efforts-to-heal,-supply-and-regenerate-continue-in-haiti

#2 Sent from Ann Liang in Canadialand (you’ll have to scroll down a bit to find her entry and I find it quite humorous what the DJ calls us)- http://www.cbc.ca/allinaweekend/listenagain.html

#3 Written by Dennis Rosen in Boston – http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/sleeping-angels/201005/the-people-you-meet

Something pretty interesting happened last night but I was too tired to blog about it so I’m doing it this morning.  It turns out that Danell and Mike went to the IMC clinic in PV and while they were there they were approached by a Haitian American man who had fallen and taken a chunk of flesh out of his lower back.  He was bleeding all over the place and it looked like he had nicked an artery or 2.  Mike and Danell worked on him for about an hour and left him at the clinic since the bleeding had stopped and he needed to be monitored.  When they got home they were telling everyone about it and how funny the guy was and how much blood there was….

Skip to 5 hours later….

Mike and I went to the general to pick up Megan Coffee and who does Mike see, the same guy that had the cut on his back.  He had left the clinic and was headed home when it started to bleed again.  He called his uncle and they took a tap tap to the general where he was hoping to be seen.  Mike walked in with him and it looked like there was only 1 nurse for the entire department so we told the guy to jump in the back of the truck and come to the house so we could work on him. 

Back at the house we got him onto a clean field, applied a Hemo-Con dressing, started an IV on him and put a boat load of pressure on his wound.  Danell, Mike and I all took turns compressing the wound and tried to get him to stop bleeding.  I’m glad Megan was at the house so in case anything really bad happened she could take over. 

So in the end, we called Medishare and they gave us the green light to transfer him over.  We got him loaded into the back of the truck and Junior drove.  I’m going over there later today to transfer 2 TB patients and I will follow-up on him this afternoon. 

Here are some of the shots that Alan took during the whole thing.