January Trip to Gonaives pretty darn good, all things considered…

I’m forwarding this small missive to the VP of Operations of the Project C.U.R.E. Warehouse in Denver, who shipped the Xray machine and a container-full of equipment and medical supplies for us to Haiti last July, and finally made it through customs and to the hospital in Gonaives in October:

Good morning George!

I’m returning from a very successful week in Haiti with Shane, an electrician, and Prosthetist. We got the portable Xray (c-arm) all operational for them so they do have Xray in the hospital now (first time since the hurricanes in 2008 – they were Really happy), and we installed 2 permanent Xray machines – yours and the one the WHO gave them almost a year ago now. The only hitch right now is that niether machine is quite operational. With incredible tenacity (including all of us working until 2 AM the last night in Gonaives) Shane (along with Wendell by cell phone) got them to just a couple of millimeters away. The one from the WHO needs a computer card (removed by the Haitian Xray dealer who sold it to the WHO and was holding them hostage for more money to hook it all up) and yours/Wendell’s for some reason needs some tweaking to work correctly with the 208 voltage they have down there. Shane is bringing back a hurricane damaged computer card (salvaged from the old hospital) to exchange with the manufacturer for a new one. We should have it to take with us the last week of February.

Also they were quite pleased with the EKG machine you provided, and our ultrasound machine.

It turns out that when our container finally got through customs and to them in October, it was perfectly timed for the beginning of the cholera epidemic which flooded them with 4,000 cholera patients in Nov and Dec. Their biggest day was 200 patients. They only had 60 deaths of those that made it to them which is a very respectable hospital death rate (1.5%) for those conditions, i.e. a hospital which routinely runs with almost no supplies or equipment. Quite a testimony to their hard work and commitment to their patients.

As a result they need more OR sterile packs because they used up every gown and disposable drape of any kind (and many of the gloves) treating cholera patients.

When we go back in February I want to take them OR drape packs, if they can be found anywhere. The other things they need right now are portable BP monitors (on rolling stands), Xray film, ekg paper and electrodes, spinal anesthesia trays and anesthetic medicines (succinyl choline, ephedrine, neostigmine, atropine, and ketamine). We can buy most of the pharmaceuticals for them ourselves). We should be able to get these things in our 50 lb duffle bags and bring them with us (courtesy of William. Dise.)

I am also building a list of their larger needed items (such as an oven and grinder and small lab set up for the Prosthetists that come so they can manufacture their artificial limbs on site (with spare used prosthetic limbs) and other items to put on our next container, which I would like to get shipped in the next couple of months.

I just want to re-iterate that this new partnership with you all at Project C.U.R.E. has been a Godsend for our work in Gonaives.

Just wanted to give you that update. Thanks, as usual.



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