Our church has sent several physicians to Haiti to help, and Alice's husband Mark was one such volunteer. Being he works with 6 other doctors, he was able to leave his practice in their care for awhile.
These show Dr. Mark Rampton getting ready to leave for Haiti.
"My husband called at 5:30 am from Haiti on the global phone that the church sent with the team. It was a short phone call but the transmission was pretty good except for the sound of helicopters flying overhead. Here were some of his comments:
1. There is more damage here than you can imagine and more injuries than are even portrayed on the media. Every other person is walking around with an injury of some kind. Yesterday at the medical clinic, he saw broken ribs, legs, arms, fingers, and lacerations of all kinds. The pain and suffering is beyond comprehension.
2. They are moving to another LDS church building today that is near the palace in Port au Prince and closer to a heavily damaged area. They hope to set up a more permanent clinic there as they figure that help will be needed for a long time.
3. If hundreds of teams of doctors were in Haiti, there would still not be enough for all the people in need of medical help.
4. Building after building has been leveled. It is a city in shambles. So many people displaced.
... The weather is hot and muggy - he's given some of his clothes away so I bet he will keep wearing the same thing all week. The team slept in tents at someone's property outside of town today... He said that the medical team is a great one to work with. Thanks for your thoughts and prayers.
Alice in Oregon"
And then yesterday she wrote this about her husband:
When Mark called last night he had a hard time talking without getting emotional. He's a touchy feely guy but doesn't actually cry all that often so I know he's affected by what he is seeing. He said that he does fine during the day when he's with the patients, but on the phone, the emotions were raw. After 33 years of practicing medicine, he's seen everything in terms of blood and guts, but when a young boy is carried in with two legs broken, his parents and siblings dead in the earthquake, and his home destroyed, it's just too much loss to comprehend. As mentioned in the Gazette Times article, the cases that they are all seeing are pretty heart wrenching except for the delivery of a healthy baby which he was able to do yesterday. The clinic, located at an LDS church in the heart of Port au Prince and very close to the Palace, is very busy because of its location to a severe part of the disaster area plus it is 2 blocks from one of the hospitals called Sacred Heart. There have been thousands of people camping out at the hospital trying to be seen and now many of them are being carried over to the LDS clinic because they heard that there are doctors there. Then when the docs and nurses at the LDS clinic see that there is a severe need for surgery or whatever, they just carry the patient back to the hospital and can usually get in to the operating room because they bring the orthopedic surgeon on the 20 member medical team or whomever to do the surgery. The team includes 2 orthopedic surgeons, 2 general surgeons, 2 emergency room physicians, and 4 family practice doctors. I'm not sure how many nurses are on the team, but Mark has mentioned several times a wonderful male nurse who is Haitian and now lives in Ogden, Utah. His parents survived the quake but are ill. The LDS church has a generator (with fuel that did make it there) and they try to use it only when needed. The church also has a water filter which is at a premium in the area because it allows for clean water. So those things are great, but the orthopedic surgeons are running out of the screws/plates that they need for the broken bone surgeries and I'm sure other supplies will soon be in shortage. There does seem to be fairly good exchange among the military and other medical teams that are there. The doctors were going to go see if the military would lend them the supplies needed for bone surgery. Mark definitely felt the earthquake yesterday morning. In fact, he woke up thinking someone was shaking him to get up. Instead, it was just the rolling of the earth. The team has a nice place to stay outside of Port au Prince- it's a big hacienda belonging to a contractor. Mark sleeps in a tent on the grounds and at first, felt guilty being in such a safe and peaceful setting, but after the first day of seeing 80 patients in a 10 hour day without any stops for food, he realized that it's good to have a place to go to build up physical and emotional strength, get a good night's rest, and be ready to face the next day. The volunteers at the church/clinic are amazing. There are hundreds of them. They are helping to distribute goods, assist with medical procedures, triage, translate, organize the patients, etc. It's a large army of Haitian volunteers and he says they are wonderful. He said that the church in Haiti is alive and vibrant..."For a news article about this doctor's experiences, go here.