So I guess the time has come to write quick update… This updated comes to you from the comfort of the Boston suburbs, where I have spent the past week working for SBHF. I still have not been able to depart for Haiti, but have been thrown into the mix up here supporting the stateside staff in their efforts to respond to the relief needs playing out on the ground. So far this has been a wonderful opportunity to meet the SBHF staff and truly learn their mission and means of operation. Believe it or not, one of the things I have been working on is beefing up our social networking. Yes, this from someone who just joined facebook in response to bribe from lovely and supportive former co-worker. In the meantime, feel free to become a fan of SBHF on facebook.
I have a tentative departure date of Feb. 28th or so. In the interim, I plan to indulge in some American Idol, watch the Super Bowl, and relish in a few days of Olympic coverage. All things I could not have done in my last apartment (sans TV) or done in Fond des Blancs. This weekend I will make the trip up to Maine to spend quality time with Grandmother and some of my other favorite family members.
Thank you again for the kind emails, texts, and calls. I promise to let everyone know when I am officially ‘wheels up’. In the meantime, read below for some recent updates from the work SBHF is doing on the ground.
St. Boniface Explores Partnership with Handicap International
As patients come in from the USNS Comfort, it is becoming apparent that our hospital in Fond des Blancs is the only institution willing to accept quadriplegic or paraplegic patients from the ship. While we do not specialize in these types of cases, we are banking on partnerships and our donors to help us with their continuing care. Many of these patients were crushed under rubble in Port-Au-Prince and were lucky to have survived, only to find out that they were left paralyzed from various spinal cord injuries.
We are currently holding talks with Handicap International, so that we can get training in specialized care for our medical staff here in Fond des Blancs. We never thought we would be a center for these types of cases, but the earthquake has caused us to rethink the direction of our hospital. There were no dissenting opinions from our staff when we discussed the possibility of accepting spinal cord injuries, as we know that without St. Boniface these patients would have nowhere to turn. Our staff continues to do whatever they can to address the suffering that has been so prevalent following the events of Jan. 12th.
Mother Teresa’s Home for Children
Due to extreme structural damage at Mother Teresa’s home for children in Port-Au-Prince, the sisters have asked us to accept any severely malnourished children who are brought to them for help. We will making a weekly stop at the home to pick up any children needing treatment and will bring them back to the sisters for follow-up care. St. Boniface had always brought visiting groups to visit with the home and now we are happy to do our part in helping the sisters and the poorest of the poor. The suffering in Port-Au-Prince has been tremendous and our team here in Haiti is ready to do whatever is necessary to be part of the relief effort.