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Issue 2
 
Haiti Earthquake January 12, 2010:

“It is a lesson that there is only one nation in this world and its name is Humanity.”~ Lisbet Hanson MD


ISSUE IIHOLY FAMILY / ST. JUDE “The planned 4 day course in OBGYN Ultrasound in Cange, Haiti was cut in half Tuesday, January 12, 2010 at 4:48 PM when the entire building we were holding lectures in began to shake violently. The 12 Haitian physicians and 3 member teaching team which I was a part of looked about at each other in confusion, then someone shouted “earthquake” and there was a scramble for the door. Some dove to the floor to get under the tables. Others yelled to stand under the support beams. I was disoriented and thinking to myself that earthquakes weren’t exactly something we normally worried about in Haiti, perhaps this was just a convoy of heavy trucks going by so I calmly packed my computer, wound the cord and put it into my bag. The shaking went on for about 2 minutes. By then I realized it was probably not trucks going by. We made our way to higher ground quickly. There was a lot of anxiety. People were trying to contact friends and family but Digicel had gone out immediately so there was no phone service. The grid also was down; eventually the generator was started and electricity became available. At the Friendship House we were able to get on line and learn that we had just experienced a 7.0 earth quake that originated in the Port au Prince area about 40 miles away. We experienced at least 4 after shocks in the next few hours. It was difficult to be calm. Most of the Haitian physicians wanted to leave immediately, in fact 2 cars left for Port auPrince. But it was getting dark and the roads are not good. We urged the others to wait until morning. Early the next morning the remaining physicians left to check on their families. We were offered a ride to the Dominican Republic by Partners in Health but after talking amongst ourselves decided to stay in Cange to help in any way we could.

Over the next 2 days we delivered twins, set bones, dressed wounds, read X-rays, did diagnostic ultrasounds, stitched lacerations, rocked orphans to sleep, gave morphine, assisted in amputations and took blood pressures, helping in any way we could. We triaged over 150 patients, working out of the church on the Cange Hospital campus. It was a crash course in trauma care.

I will tell you the story of one 6 yr old boy brought to Cange from Port au Prince by his father with a deep gash on his forehead and another on the back of his head. We were able to stitch his forehead up but there was too much of his scalp missing on the back of his head. He needed a skin graft which was impossible under the circumstances so we cleaned it as best we could and wrapped his head with gauze. His dad left him with us and returned to Port au Prince to get the grandmother. The rest of the family had been killed. The little boy would not eat or drink and cried for his dad. We took turns rocking him. Two days later his dad returned with the grandmother. She had a severe chest contusion but was alive. By then the boy had developed a fever despite the antibiotics we were giving him and his eyes were swollen shut. But with some coaxing he took some M&M’s we gave to his father. It was especially hard to leave him but I knew I had nothing else to offer him. He needed a team of doctors not available to him as they might have been had he been brought to an ER here in the States.

Another patient sticks out in my mind. A young woman came by ‘tap tap’ from Port au Prince with most of her right foot degloved, wrapped in cloth bandages. We could see all the tendons and muscles of the foot clearly. We knew that in this setting the best treatment would be amputation before infection set in but the list of patients needing OR care was long and only one surgeon was available. She would be on the end of a long list. She took the news calmly and began singing Amazing Grace in Creole, over and over again, her beautiful voice soaring in the church, calming us all, patients and physicians alike.

I know GOD put me in Haiti at that time for a reason. To bear witness and to help as best I could. I left Haiti reluctantly but realizing that I had reached the limit as to what I had to offer. I’m ready to return at a moments notice. It is a lesson that there is only one nation in this world and its name is Humanity.”  Lisbet Hanson MD 

(Member of Holy Family Haiti Committee)

 

 

 

 

Baptis Water Project Update –

Dec 2009

Members of the project team were in Baptis (Baptiste) in mid-December to meet with the new priest at St. Judes parish, Fr. Cassagnol, and to assess the status of the water project.  As a result of this trip, we are happy to report the original project, as proposed, is essentially complete and the system is operating as designed.  The residual water pressure at the fountains in Batis is approximately 70 psi. As a reference, the water pressure at my home in Virginia Beach is 50 psi. 

There are a still a few things that need to be taken care of, but the residents of Batis are enjoying the free, clean water delivered via the 12,000 ft pipeline from the source to the village.  The solar pasteurizer unit was also placed into service during this trip, and 5 gallons of pasteurized water was produced in a little less than 60 minutes.  This water can be used for preparing baby formula and for performing medical procedures as well as normal daily uses.

 


 

 

 

 

 

Earthquake News

It does not appear that the major earthquake on January 12, 2010, in Port au Prince, had any impact on the recently completed water system.  This is truly good news! A true blessing!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Future Efforts

 

  • Even though water is flowing to Baptis, more remains to be done.  Additional fountains and pipeline extensions are needed in Baptis.  The few fountains constructed always have many people crowded around them to get water.

 

  • People from Totoye are walking the 2.5 miles to Baptis to get water, and thought needs to be given to developing a cost effective method to get water from Baptis to Totoye. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

EDUCATION UPDATE

 

 

 

“Only the Educated are Free”

“Only the Educated are Free” Epictetus, a former slave and great Greek philosopher, wrote those words over 2,000 years ago.  These words are often referenced with Haiti in mind.  The Haiti Teacher to Teacher Committee at Holy Family Church in partnership with five schools in Baptis Haiti is committed to supporting the education of over one thousand students.  Below is an update on the Teacher to Teacher Program.

 

        The Haiti Teacher to Teacher partnership has been created. 

  • Teachers in Baptis Haiti have been matched with a parishioner from Holy Family. Each parishioner has agreed to financially support their teacher for at least one year.
  • Each Haitian teacher received an introductory letter and gift from their Holy Family Partner.  Holy Family parishioners will receive a correspondence from their teacher.
  • Under the direction of French teacher Michelle Hinck, Cape Henry French Club has adopted a teacher and classroom.
  • Planning as begun for the 2nd Annual Haiti Walk in May.  Proceeds from this year’s walk will go towards buying new textbooks and classroom books.

Please contact Alfie Lopez at the Church of the Holy Family if you’re interested in becoming part of the Haiti Teacher to Teacher Program.

 

 

 

 

 

 Anti-Parasite Medicine Record Program

We knew that there needed to be a way to keep track of the children who were taking the anti-parasite medicine. This small spreadsheet program accomplishes:

  • manages the locations where medicine is given in order to be able to repeat visit for 2nd annual dose in 6 months
  • logs the basic information on the child: name, age, gender, pregnancy status, location (school, church, clinic), any health concerns for referral to clinic
  • ability to assess basic results or improvement in child's health or school attendance; also note any challenges
  • allows the program to expand beyond Baptis area to full Diocese and across Haiti's child population
  • records will be provided to Ministry of Health as ongoing health program

The Data can be collected in a number of ways, based on the capabilities at each location.

  • PC or laptop - enter data directly at each location medicine is given (can be mobile 'travelling' laptop or on site computer)
  • Write in information on printed sheets and then input into program at later time
  • Allow program to be expanded by transferring program via email or on thumb drive at each location

For the initial pilot start, the paper method was used for record keeping. With the volume of children, it was the fastest way to log the info. All papers were collected and returned to Lisa Smith for entry into the tracking program.

 

 

 

 

 

 



 

 

Reflection on Haiti in the aftermath of the Earthquake of January 12, 2010

 

The devastation from the earthquake in Haiti last week is overwhelming. The suffering of the people of Port-au-Prince is profound. There are tens of thousands of people who have died. We have witnessed on television the extreme suffering of those who were crushed by the falling concrete of their houses, schools and hospitals. We see the mourning of those who have lost their loved ones and often have no way to account for them. And, we see children and the elderly and all survivors with limited or no food and water.

Amidst the suffering we have witnessed the dignity, resilience, and tenacity of the Haitian people. They are strong, courageous and filled with deep faith. It brought tears to my eyes to see folks digging in the ruble with their hands to save others; to comfort the severely injured and dying and to share

 

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See full size image

 

 

 

 

 

their meager belongings with others on the ground under the night sky. To see crowds singing and praying together in the streets was a testament to their deep faith in God. In this moment we are called by their suffering to a place of deep compassion and solidarity.

 

We ask the parishioners of Holy Family for your fervent prayers for Haiti in the days, weeks, and months ahead. It is important for us to be a community witness in our solidarity with Haiti. Please talk about our relationship to our Haiti brothers and sisters with one another, your children, your neighbors, and co-workers. This is a time that calls for intentional consciousness raising and prayer. We can make a difference with our prayers, compassion, and relief efforts. We are all one human family in the Kingdom of God. Please join our Holy Family Haiti Committee in our efforts to embrace our brothers and sisters in Haiti in this moment of profound distress and suffering.

In Christ’s Love,

Tim McCarthy

Chairman Holy Family Haiti Committee


 

Interested in joining our Haiti Committee?

UPCOMING FUNDRAISER

“Bring a Parent Semi-Formal Haiti Dinner Dance”

Saturday, Feb. 6, 2010

6:30 p.m.

HOLY FAMILY CHURCH

1279 Great Neck Road

Virginia Beach, VA

Music, Dancing, Pasta Dinner, Photographer, and Silent Auction. Coupes $15.00 and Single $10.00. Tickets are on sale before and after all masses. Mark your calendar and  Hope to see you there.

 

 
 Come to our meetings every second

Tuesday of the month.

 For more information come visit us at….

http://holyfamilyvbhaiti.com.

                                     or contact Tim McCarthy at mccarthyt@aol.com .

 

 

UPCOMING FUNDRAISER

CARD PARTY / LUNCHEON

NOVEMBER 5th, 2009

10AM to 3PM

HOLY FAMILY CHURCH

1279 Great Neck Road

Virginia Beach, VA

ThisCARD PARTY is a fundraiser to benefit the Haiti Fund.  It is sponsored by the Haiti Committee at Holy Family.  Tickets are $15 per person.   A luncheon will be provided .  There will be door prizes and a silent auction with   great items to bid on.  Mark your calendar and call Brian Maddox to register at 496-0234.  Hope to see you there.

 

 
    Get involved today!

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Haiti Outreach, Church of the Holy Family                                                                              
Virginia Beach, Va 23452