Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Update from the Haitian Community Hospital

We just received a letter from Kim Sassine, a nurse that took care of patients in ICU at the Haitian Community Hospital. Kim worked closely with Team Cleveland. A lawyer by day, she continues to work with patients in the afternoons and on weekends.

Hi Jack and Paul,

The hospital is now "under control." Many of the emergency post-earthquake patients have been cared for. We are now in fact seeing more "normal" cases (labors, cold, flu, various consultations), although we do get the occasional earthquake victim - yes, even a month after!

We are actually seeing some TB outbreaks, and a few meningitis cases. I do have a personal fear of some sort of epidemic breaking out.

I am also worried about [the mental and emotional health of some of the patients]. The French had a couple of psychologists come in to talk to patients. I think in the upcoming months it is going to become a serious issue for people here (foreigners and locals alike).

I still go to the hospital in the afternoons and weekends. Unfortunately, the current teams are completely new and we don't know each other at all.

It is really funny hearing some of these docs and nurses complain about having to work under these circumstances. Believe me when I say these guys are no working in a five star hospital compared to what you guys were dealing with. I try really hard not to laugh, not to roll my eyes, not to pat them on the back and especially not to tell them about my super troopers from Ohio and Sweden!

I don't know if you guys remember Hervé. He was the double BK amputee that you guys had evacuated to the American ship. I see and speak to him regularly. He said he enjoyed his trip on the ship. It wasn't the Comfort ship he was sent to but the USS Vincent. After a few days of wound care, he was discharged and sent back home. He was never sent to Jacksonville. He still comes to the hospital for dressing changes. His spirits are still high. This kid has a lot of heart. I brought him a tent earlier this week and some groceries. He now lives on a soccer field with his parents.

His leg appear to have healed fine. I was with him earlier this week and according to the Korean doctor doing his dressing change, his staples are to be removed probably at the end of the month. I am concerned about his left leg (which was the most infected one). It appears to have a dark coloring on the skin closest to the staples. The doctor assured me that it was not infected but was mostly dead skin cells. Unfortunately, a lot was lost in translation. I'm going to take a few pictures of his legs and send it to you both for some little long-distance consultation.

An agency came by several days ago to register all of our patients' information for a distribution of prosthetic limbs.

I actually Googled you guys recently and was not at all amazed to find out that you guys are a big deal. Go Ohio!

I hope this email finds you both well. I keep you both in my prayers and in my heart. We were all so blessed and are incredibly grateful that you and your team came in and did your medical magic.

My love to all,
Kim Sassine