Day 4: L'Hopital Bernard Mevs‎, Port-au-Prince, Haiti (with a little resort diversion)

We had mixed feelings about leaving the "comforts" of Bernard Mevs Hospital to drive up into the mountains to a resort. Somehow being down here in the thick of it does not lend itself to carefree luxury living at its finest.

When we pulled into the resort, one would have thought we had left this country and entered another. Truly a beautiful resort. The entrance way alone speaks for itself.

Are we still in Haiti?

We spent the day hanging around the pool, enjoying the really good coffee, great drinks made with fresh squeezed tropical fruit and good food. It was for many a continuation of the party that started last night. Beautiful weather, great water, fun company... who could ask for more?


We headed back to the hospital around 4:30 pm and when we arrived back at Bernard Mevs things looked strange. A lot of extra cars in the main entrance, a lot of extra white people standing around, more military police. I soon discovered that part of the commotion centered around Dr. Sanjay Gupta (CNN's Chief Medical Correspondent) getting ready to get into his van and leave the hospital. I asked if anyone wanted to join me in meeting him and had a few takers. He was closing the door to leave when he saw us approaching and waving so he opened the door of the van and shook our hands. He said he was down in Haiti "gathering information". Not sure what that means, but if any of you should see a segment he does on Haiti, would you let me know?

Well, the commotion continued once Dr. Gupta's van left, so I approached 3 white men hanging out in front of the inpatient area and asked what they were doing there. Casually one guy replied that they have lived down here for 7 years and work as "mission evacuators"... They are wearing pseudo uniform attire so I said, "ok, you work down here but why are you here at the hospital?" And the guy says pretty nonchalantly, "well, our friend has been stabbed like 50 times and is in the ER being worked on".

So I walk over to ER and see a scene out of a horror movie. Noel, one of the MDs in our group who is specialized in ICU, immediately puts on a mask and gown and proceeds to try to intubate this man who is bleeding out. The entire admin staff who have any clinical role are standing around the bed trying to organize the code for this guy and nothing is working. His carotid artery has been cut as well as his jugular vein. At a certain point they realize that their efforts are hopeless and call the code... So that was why I didn't want to leave the hospital in the first place... When you come back, it's not 5 seconds before your psyche is shocked into a reality that just wipes you out. It's like getting hit below the knees and tackled over. We have gathered by the back door of the ER and are speechless watching this go down. Don't know much about the story here other than the guy was sleeping when he got attacked by someone he knew.

I decided to go and visit my sweet ortho woman who has been lying in bed and still has her catheter in (which is now a mixture of yellow and red urine). She is very happy to see me, wants to get up but her room is so overfilled with patients that there is no way to create a path for her to the door so we just stand around her bed and do exercise. She is truly delightful.

I spent the rest of the later day in the Peds unit playing with a variety of children. My sickle cell friend is feeling much better today, back to her beautiful smile. Her aunt is stationed at her side as her mom is now having to attend to the rest of her family.

There is one hydrocephalus baby who has been abandoned here for some time and everyone at the hospital knows him. He is a happy little guy who loves to interact with anyone who will pay attention to him. So… I have him in a stroller and tour him around the grounds and he is soaking up the attention and little does he know that his silly smile is therapy for me and by dinner time, I finally feel like I have entered my body again.

Marvins (abandoned orphan)

Everyone is exhausted and ready for bed early tonight. No dancing on the roof or late night rum runs. Who knows what tomorrow will bring?

Jennifer and Susanne

On to Day 5...

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2014 Haiti Medical Trip