Google+ WTN Haiti Partnership: Amanda's Tremendous Haiti Experience, pt. 2

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Amanda's Tremendous Haiti Experience, pt. 2

Editor's Note: This is a continuation of Amanda's story from inside Haiti.  Amanda is a young nurse from the Baptist College of Nursing in Memphis.  We are presenting here messages as received, except in a few cases where typing errors were corrected for the sake of clear meaning. The messages are divided into three parts.  Although these messages are from two months, ago, I know that they communicate a lot about the situation on the ground in the aftermath of the earthquake. They also speak about the overwhelming feeling of attempting to make an impact in that place and the feeling of being changed more yourself. Please read and enjoy Amanda's letters and leave your own thoughts as comments. We will attempt to pass on any comments on these posts to Amanda in Memphis. We applaud her for her work in Haiti and are proud to present her memories here.
Stephen Nelson

Greetings!!!

So I'm 2/3rds of the way through of my 36 hours... I'm pushing through.. I did lay down for maybe 30ish minutes on a patient care area in the emergency area... I woke up to a child being carried into the area in which I am the "doctor" for the night. WAY OUT OF MY SCOPE OF PRACTICE to say the least. Here recently, we are starting to see a lot of nausea/vomiting and mass dehydration... Combined with fever and such- we are thinking that it is virus-like but not sure. It could be something infectious starting to make its way in the door.

Last night, we delivered 3 babies so that was always fun. The babies that keep coming through the door are making it all so much more bearable. Life is so precious.

Yesterday during the day, we delivered a baby to a woman who had had both of her arms amputated... To think that just days and weeks before your child is born, you lose all ability to hold it.

We have seen I think 7 cases of tetanus- crazy!! The symptoms are definitely interesting. I'm interested to go home and read more about tetanus and see how what I have seen fits into clinical practice.

I'm feeling like today is going to be a crazy day... I'm emailing because I'm scared of falling asleep between patients but they are starting to roll into the door.

Because of the area of town that we are working in, we are seeing a lot of destruction but we are not near the epicenter. Part of your group made a wrong turn and ended at ground zero if you will. Their report was: they were driving and the streets were packed with people and cars and then all of a sudden they were the only car around at all. They entered into a point that was so dead. There wasn't even military presence at all... There were dead bodies in the street and random few and far between people searching through the rubble... Tomorrow afternoon we are going to travel in closer to the epicenter. They said that it takes what we have seen to a whole new level... And at this point in time, I can't even imagine that.

This is my plea: if you are a doctor, there are way too many of you hanging out down here, if you are a nurse, you are in desperate need!! (Hence the 36 hour shifts) if you are physical or occupational therapy, you are needed even more that the nurses. There are only 2 here at the hospital and they are working nonstop! Security guards for the hospital are needed. Also, good organizers and sorters (that is anyone!!) Are needed to sort through and inventory all of the medical supplies that we have been receiving.. Please consider coming and helping this country. Talk to me... I know where you can plug in!!

If you want to donate a helicopter to the cause or know someone who would, I know where to plug you in... Medical supplies? I have lists of things in great need at the hospital. Email me if you are interested. The list of supplies needed is updated daily as the needs of the patients are constantly changing.

I'm so sad that my time here is coming to an end, but I am really feeling the effects of the hours and strenuous work on my body...
Talk to you soon!

Love,
Amanda
To be continued.
Amanda is from the Baptist College of Nursing in Memphis

*Hibiscus is the national flower of Haiti;
photo used under FREE USE License from FreeFoto.com

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