Jeff Leathersich – Update

Posted by on Jan 26, 2010 in Members, Missions | 0 comments

It is 4:30 in the morning here in Haiti and we leave soon for our days work. Our team of 12, 5 from Rochester and 7 from Indiana are splitting up today. I will take 4 of us to a refugee camp that has been set up but yet has medical care. The others will go to our clinic/hospital were we saw between 250-300 patients yesterday.

Antibiotics and wound care are most of what will do at the refugee camp. If we find people too sick for the camp, like they need IV fluids or IV antibiotics for a while, we will take them back to our hospital unless they need surgery well will take them to a surgical hospital. We have 2 surgeons arriving at our hospital next week. When we start doing overnight care we will need to leave a nurse and a provider there.

At one point yesterday I said to myself most of these people have stomach ulcers and they have developed their symptoms in the last 7-10 days I wondered why, then it clicked that it was a stress response. Another very common secondary complaint was “I can’t catch my breath at times”. Yet they had no wheezing on exam… again it took about 20 of them saying that before I realized it was anxiety. There is no one here who has not been affected by this disaster, everyone lost family and friends. Sadly, because the numbers are so profound and bodies crushed many beyond recognition many will have closure.

The most impacting thing when seeing the patients who were trapped and saw others die is that they are like walking zombies, the trauma is so profound they are emotionless at this point and when you do something that is painful, like clean a wound or something, it should hurt but not as much as it does. There pain response is exponentially magnified, also from the extreme trauma state they are living in.

We are headed out the door soon. Thanks to all of those who have expressed that they are praying for us and the people of Haiti, we all need it.

I have taken Tim my 17 year old son on this trip, he is working hard with the rest of us and not complaining a bit. I am very proud of him and I know this trip will change his world view, his appreciation of what he has… and his very life.

I will try to send more but technology is very unreliable here.

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