Dr. Benitez Haiti Update #1

After a very chaotic morning and three delayed flight times. Norberto, and his 1300 lbs of medical supplies, flew out of Ft. Pierce at 12:30 this afternoon. It was a small propeller plane but he texted me when he landed in Port au Prince that the flight was uneventful. He is with a medical team from Indiana and North Carolina that consists of, among others, general surgeons, an oral surgeon, family practice, pediatric rehab doc and nurses. A group of about 17.

After packing the van with more than 100 boxes, they left the airport at about 4p and were still on the road at 7:45 when he texted me that the destruction they were seeing driving to their destination was severe. In Port au Prince he said there are whole blocks that are rubble. Not a standing building for blocks and blocks. And “thousands” of people sleeping in tents. Tents made of everything from metal, plastic and even paper. They arrived at the hospital in a town called Petite Riviera … approx 3 hours west of Port au Prince. They are at a hospital called Charles Colimon. He says this is an area that has no damage. The hospital is small with two operating rooms and electricity from a generator with a working autoclave. He says they have done 1011 surgical cases since the earthquake. It is the only hospital doing surgery in the entire area so people are coming by car/bus or even walking for surgery. As he spoke to me at 9:45p there were already people sleeping in the yard of the hospital waiting to be seen tomorrow morning.

The group is staying in a private house that he says is very big and clean. They are sleeping three to a room but he says the rooms have electricity and his room has a fan, which is good because he says it is very hot. He is there with Papo (his 28 y/o son that is a paramedic) so they are sharing a bed and another doctor is sleeping in a sleeping bag on the floor.

They are eating snacks that they brought for dinner, Norberto is having crackers and vienna sausage ­čÖé and then going to bed, he says it has been a long day but he is excited about tomorrow and says he thinks they will able “to do some good work” there.

He should call me tomorrow to let me know what kind of cases they are seeing. Any prayers would be appreciated ~

Anna

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