Day 1: L'Hopital Bernard Mevs‎, Port-au-Prince, Haiti

The drive from the airport to the hospital was also noticeably better.
The streets are paved and there was very little garbage alongside the road. New buildings have popped up and there is little remaining rubble and evidence that an earthquake wiped this city out several years ago.

Before we knew it, the gates of Bernard Mevs Hospital opened and we were home! Susanne and I had hoped to sneak away upon arrival and bypass the orientation in order to pick our prime real estate within the guest bunks, but we were unsuccessful. I guess we were meant to hear about the changes that have taken place since our last visit. And again, we are happy to say there are many enhancements here.

Several new buildings have gone up within the grounds of the hospital, so we no longer have a soccer "field" to play with the kids. In its place is a new Pediatric Ward equipped with modern supplies. The Peds ICU and NICU have expanded and the place we stowed Jerry away is now the NICU.

Also happy to report they have put overhead structures to create outdoor shaded waiting areas "with chairs". No more baking in the direct sunlight waiting to be triaged for the ER. Also, families have a place to sit in the shade while they exude a level of patience that simply does not exist in the American culture.

Triage has new look - no longer a flea market tent but an actual building with electricity and a slightly larger capacity so the the patient with the acute MI doesn't get thrown out of his bed as quickly when the electrical burn patient comes flying through the gates! The Med/Surg area, ICU and ER are unchanged.

What was also rewarding to see today was the production from the sewing room which was created the day we left two years ago. For those who need a small reminder, Ilani, the Haitian above-knee amputee woman who served as our translator last time, was given the job to create an industry for the spinal cord patients to become employed in. Her sewing room has flourished and expanded into a beautiful crafts area where they are making amazing things. I will send pictures. The ties are a huge success as well and school uniforms being produced.

The roofs now have a huge number of solar panels on them and Susanne is convinced that "poop river" is no longer. I am not 100% convinced but after the torrential rainstorm we encountered tonight, she may be right because there was no sudden stench to go along with the rain!

We eventually made it to our bunks, set up camp, changed in to scrubs, took one look at lunch and headed for the PT clinic.

For those who know me well, you will appreciate that we spent the first several hours cleaning the place! Clorox wipes, gloves, and lots of sweat! It is quite possible, the room hasn't been cleaned since we were last here. Once we had our space in order, we headed over to the pediatric ward where once again, there are several eye-catching kids in need of attention, affection and a little PT thrown in there. We spent a few hours treating an adorable 9 year-old, Lovins and a beautiful girl,14, named Michaele. Below are pictures of us in the PT suite.


Once we made our tour of Peds, we went over to Med-Surg and started in with a few post-op hip patients. There is a brand new head-injured man tied down to his bed next to these ladies. We will start with him tomorrow.

Exhausted and grimy, we headed to our bunk, showered, prettied ourselves, got drenched by the torrential downpour which started once we were clean and prettied (I am very happy I stopped on the way to SFO to pick up a rain poncho), and crammed into our jeep for our nightly ride to the UN for dinner.

The most exciting thing to report is that it looks like we will be picked up tomorrow by the woman who runs the orphanage where Jerry is and spend time visiting the boy who stole our hearts. (Broke them a bit too). If all goes well, Nicolle will come herself and sign us out for a surprise visit to see Jerry... please keep your fingers crossed, say a few prayers and hope that she comes through.

We are exhausted. Need to get ready for bed.

More for you tomorrow…
-- With love Jennifer and Susanne

On to Day 2...

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2014 Haiti Medical Trip