Monday, February 8, 2010

Team Park Ridge Safely Home...

Thank you so much for your prayers and support. The full Park Ridge team made it home this weekend. It was no small challenge getting 16 people out of Haiti. With no commercial flights - we had to come out on 3 different planes - one of them being a Cessna 205. We've got photos too....

I will be updating the blog all week with photos - and the "rest of the story" now that we have solid internet access.

The trip was such a blessing to our team and to the 100's of people who had surgery at the hands of the team.

We did well over 100 surgeries in our time in Haiti - and only 2 amputations (one was a finger). The Park Ridge team was very focused on limb salvage and often worked well into the night to ensure world-class care was being given to the people of Haiti.

The mats were an incredible success - I'm eager to get those pictures up as well.

A huge THANK YOU to the many supporters who made this trip possible!

Please check back in daily - downloading photos/video as I type -


Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Day 4 - The Heart of Haiti

Today was another significant surgery day for the team. Word is getting out that the Hospital has operating rooms with expert surgeons. Our teams have been very busy late into the night doing far more than orthopedic cases.

Instead of team photos and video today – I’ll share an excursion several of us went on as we wanted to go deep into the areas around the hospital to be sure everyone had what they needed to survive. We were moved to connect with families living amid the rumble - moving on as if little was different from how their lives were pre-earthquake.

The Haitian people are as resilient as any I’ve ever come across. We've truly seen the heart of Haiti...

(Click on photos to open them larger)

Monday, February 1, 2010

Day 4 - When the dust settles...

Most of the team was up all night - surgery cases till 2:30 am. Dr. Coston took a 1 day old infant (hand-bagging all the way) by small boat to the USS Comfort - he got back just before 3 am - he's now starting the first case in OR 1. The team is fighting for every life they can.

Hospital is becoming more of a walk-in clinic - the halls are getting more and more packed - we have tent city on the Adventist University just up the street - 13,000 people there - more and more of them are making their way down here for urgent care type needs.

Very full surgery schedule today...

Our hospital administrator (Andrew) is at the airport trying to get a military flight home to be with his family in Loma Linda for a much deserved break - he's gone 24/7 since just after the earthquake.

I'm leaving for the airport to pick up 300 cots and surgical supplies - we are working to coordinate the Florida Hospital crew which arrives Friday.

Rita and Suzanne are doing well - we've got video to post from them -

As the dust settles - I'll get back into photo/video mode - off to the airport now...

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Day 3 - Answers to Questions

We've now past the 48 hour mark and the team is hitting full stride. Today Michelle was in the OR by 5 am preparing for a packed day of surgeries. The team was through 6 cases by 10 am. I've moved to shooting more video, so watch for some posted stories tomorrow.

At 7 am the team started a case that was nothing short of amazing. I'd like to save the story for video, but I'll share it involves a law school where just 2 survived during a full afternoon of classes, a student being buried for 2 days, her brother digging her out just prior to the rubble being bulldozed away, an arm crushed beyond repair, and a surgical procedure today unlike anything I've ever imagined. You'll get the chance to meet her and hear her tell about what the Park Ridge team was able to do...

To your questions... several have asked about the team's sleeping and eating conditions - and one even asked what is Jimm up to? So today in text and photos - I thought I'd answer those questions.

Sleeping: Most of the group are in individual tents in hallways or outside on the roof - Food: We've got an amazing disaster relief team feeding over 3,000 meals a day to the patients, families, and staff here at the hospital - they have come together from around the world and often participate in relief work. They are known as the Supreme Master Ching Hai Disaster Relief Team. They are all 100% vegan so the food has been great and I don't have to wonder what I'm eating... Jimm: Today I bumped into him helping to organize and inventory a pharmacy that looks like Sidney's room after an in-room play date with friends. Later I found him trying to get a grasp on the need for qualified interpreters - even interviewing candidates outside. And this afternoon he was helping move medical supplies from the ADRA warehouse back to the hospital (video). We got back late this evening from another airport run.

If you have other questions or ideas for photos/video - please leave a comment or email me at - I'll get to them in a future post.

So many teams from around the world have come together at Hospital Adventiste d' Haiti to serve. There are many French medical teams outside taking care of all triage, pre-op and post-op care, there is a Canadian team, an Indian team, the Ching Hai Disaster Relief food prep team, a Spanish team arriving tomorrow, many American teams including the Park Ridge American orthopedic surgical team, and 100's of Haitians working to help those most harmed by the earthquake. Great stories with every conversation...

Fun final thought... I took a photo today you'll see at the end below - it's of 4 American trained, board certified / fellowship orthopods scrubbed in reconstructing a smashed pelvis. Where do you get that kind of expert attention in the US? Not Hopkins or Mayo - only the best for Haiti...

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Day 2 - Rehabilitation and Recovery

Our day started with an early church service and a chance to meet many of the people who have made the grounds of the hospital their home for the past weeks. There are hundreds of people supporting family members who are learning to walk again, learning how to make the best of their new reality.

Mid-day I had the opportunity to accompany the Union College Rescue and Recovery team as they performed an amazing service at a multi-leveled building that collapsed, trapping many inside.

We accompanied Paula to the site and she shared that many of her family members still hadn't been pulled from the concrete pile. The team from Union performed their role with compassion.

The Park Ridge surgical team did more surgeries today than yesterday and the cases are getting even more varied. Tomorrow we have an amazing story to share - her surgery is at 7 am. Good Night...