Today was a national day of mourning in Haiti. All businesses closed at noon. Driving from PAP to Gonaives we saw lots of people going to outdoor church prayer services. The hospital was open for our electrician and Xray installer to begin to run the electrical wire through the hospital to the Xray unit. Nick says Robinson, one of our interpreters, would make a good electrician. They got over half of it done already. Turns out they had everything they needed in the 20 duffle bags of wire, panels, tools, and conduit we brought with us on the airplane, courtesy of William Dise of Airline Ambassadors International and American Airlines. (Donated by Blazer electric, Mike Blazer).
Shane got the c-arm portable Xray unit and the ultrasound machine operational that we shipped down on our first Project C.U.R.E. container last July through October (actual delivery date to hospital). Shane is shooting for having both the permanent machines up and running when we leave Saturday. (that’s the one from the WHO that needed to be installed plus the one we shipped here in our container).
Meanwhile, Dave casted two patients for artificial limbs today. One was the mother of one of the church leaders, who has been waiting two years since I amputated her gangrenous foot (from diabetes). How wonderful was that. Thank you Ken and Dave.
Dr St Gilles, the hospital director, thanked us warmly today, because it turns out that our and Project C.U.R.E.’s container arrived here just ahead of the devastating cholera epidemic. Since it had all those supplies for the clinic (and hospital) along with the Xray and other equipment it turns out that much of it was sorely needed to treat the 4000 patients who came in November and December. One day they had 200 cholera patients. He said only 60 of the 4000 died.
And all the oral rehydration packets we brought this trip (put together by so many of you back in Colorado) will be very much needed and appreciated by them, he said.
It was a very good day to be here.