The doctors in Haiti continue to perform surgery 15 hours per day. Many of their patients require amputations and many are children. The patients have been amazing despite all that they have endured. It has been said that Haiti will be a generation of amputees. Clearly, that appears to be the case and many of them will need prosthetic devices down the line. Surgeries are being performed both in the hospital and surgical tents. It has been very hot each day, making the working conditions especially challenging.
These doctors are making a difference! In Mark’s case, he packed a few extra items to guarantee his best work. He plays his Ipod during surgery through a small speaker system he squeezed into his luggage because music is like Popeye’s spinach; it energizes and focuses him. He also packed the Club Helm flag, the official banner for a group of our friends who wish to send their good vibes to Haiti, even though they can’t be there themselves. The Club Helm “Board Members” elected to send it to Haiti on a humanitarian mission rather than take it to the outdoor hockey game in Madison, Wisconsin, a more typical destination for the flag.
The days are long and there is no air conditioning in the surgical tents. I cannot imagine what it’s like to concentrate with unrelenting heat and no end in sight to the number of people who require surgery. The needs of the Haitian people will not be fully met for a very long time and their needs will extend well beyond this initial phase of disaster relief. It is overwhelming to think so much has been done during this medical mission but it’s like a taking a brick out of the pyramids: what remains is enormous!
The plane that brought them in sustained damage so new plans have to be made to get them back to the United States on Tuesday. Hopefully, all will go well so Mark can go on his scheduled ski trip to Colorado with our son Andrew on Thursday. Cool mountain air will probably feel like heaven.