Update report from our Scientology Volunteer Ministers on the ground!
Volunteer Minister Mike: has been assigned to a medical team that gives tetanus shots to all the patients at the General Hospital and the field hospitals around Port-au-Prince.
Volunteer Minister Michaela sent us an email giving a glipmse of what it is like there and what she and the other volunteers are doing:
Wow. What a day!!! Today we got sent to the General Hospital where we found patients everywhere needing help. First we had to evacuate the main building of the hospital. With the help of the army we got trucks to transport everything from the pharmacy out to a safe place. All the patients had to be put in the courtyard and along the street around the hospital because the building was declared dangerous and can't be used any longer.
Next, it was going around to the hundreds of patients lying everywhere to give out antibiotics because so many patients' wounds are getting infected and so many need amputations. While doing that I ran into a doctor who put a newborn baby in my arms, telling me to organize some kind of bed in the courtyard for him and his mom. It was such an incredible feeling to hold this little life in my arms in such an environment!
Then a desperate doctor asked for our help in a nearby hospital building where his patients where lying there hungry, thirsty and not attended to. I got assigned to the critical care unit, Enrico to orthopedics with Marina, Elena to a ward that has a variety of patients and Chiara to another similar ward. As soon as we started we realised, as the doctor had told us, these people were not recovering and were even dying because they aren't getting food and water. On my shift, two people died on me. And at that point I disagreed with leaving these people to die and went out in search of food and water. I found a group of nuns who were willing to share, so we could feed all of them.
We organized it now that from tomorrow on we bring them food when we go to the hospital in the morning! Later today we went to each of patient who had been moved to the sidewalk and street around the hospital and distributed antibiotics. A big problem here is that people are suffering from high fevers, their wounds are getting infected and their limbs are having to be amputated because of there is no hygiene at all. Sterile equipment and supplies are just a dream here—even in the operating rooms!
When we got home tonight at 9 p.m. we made our dinner of protein bars, better than most get in this city, and then we crashed in our tents!
Volunteer Minister Nicole reports:
This was truly one of the most powerful days of my life!!! We arrived at the hospital and hit the ground running. I say "hospital," but the building was so unstable that all the patients were outdoors—some in tents, some under trees, others just baking in the open sun. (read more on Ellen's blog)