After our day in Leogane we traveled to Les Cayes, Haiti. A city on the south western coast. The trip in theory should be about 5 hours, but for anyone who’s traveled in a developing country knows that any estimate should automatically be doubled. Getting a flat tire on a school bus is never a good idea, let alone when things like mechanical assistance is not available. Luckily we had the most awesome driver ever who changed that tire by hand.
Leaving the city – we drove through the epicenter. Tent city after tent city. This is a picture of the crack in the road near the epicenter. To give you perspective it’s about a foot wide and a foot deep.
From Les Cayes we were able to go to small villages between Lay Cayes and Port-au-Prince where people were refugees now staying with relatives. We had 3 days of clinic in Les Cayes.
We saw more crush injuries out in the villages than in the city. The big organizations weren’t making it out of Port-au-Prince. Some of these places have essentially no medical care to begin with, let alone after a major event.
One lady I treated was carried in by her husband. She had been trapped for over a day, with her foot being crushed. She was rescued after people helped removed the rubble that had her trapped in Port-au-Prince. She told me that she had seen a doctor in Port-au-Prince, had an xray (of something) and was told nothing was broken. I believe they xrayd her leg and not her foot. Her ankle joint had NO movement in it. No matter how I tried to move it… nada. Stuck in place. From my exam I believe she had an untreated foot fracture. Not much you can do about it after a month. We luckily brought a physical therapist with us who was able to fit her with an orthopedic boot and give her crutches. Between that and the massive amount of pain meds I gave her, she walked out of the clinic without pain. She hadn’t put weight on her leg in over a month. While it might not have killed her immediately, if you can’t walk, you can’t get food or work. Not a good combination of things when you are already below the poverty line.
This is pretty much my favorite picture from the trip. She was the cutest thing ever, she laughed at me the whole time. If she had been in an orphanage I can’t guarantee she wouldn’t have come with me, but alas she had a mom so I gave her back. Also this picture makes my mom crazy, because all she wants is a grandkid or 10…. you know you want to AWWWW at it.
Every clinic we had, we usually had an audience of small kids that would gather at the doors of the church we were using for the day. All those funny white people showing up doing stuff and giving away clothes… man that’s exciting stuff.
A few more actions pictures….