Erin and the MTW Disaster Response team have been treating a nine-year-old girl for a ruptured appendix. The child has been in great pain and crying constantly for several days. In the middle of Erin’s busy shift she remembered that she had a coloring book and crayons in her backpack. She ran to her pack and returned with the supplies for the little girl. The girl was so excited. She drew pictures for the MTW team for the next two hours. She beamed with pride at her creations and forgot where she was, if only for a little while.
The little girl and her new crayons.
Another child, a five-year-old boy, is very sick. He has been orphaned by the earthquake and was brought in by neighbors. The boy is down to 30 lbs. and the team believes he has typhoid. This could result in a lifetime of physical and developmental problems for him. His world will never be the same.
Yesterday was a good day for Erin and the team. Last night was their first night shift with no births or deaths. Things are still hectic, but manageable. Erin reports that she got seven hours of sleep yesterday, ate two hot meals and even had time to hand wash her clothes for the first time. She was in the middle of telling me that she feels better then she has in a week when she looked in a mirror and screamed, “Oh my gosh! I just looked in a mirror for the first time in a week! Is this what I look like?!? I look terrible!”
Erin with the baby she delivered a couple days ago.
The lack of basic medical supplies is still a challenge. The team continues to do a wonderful job with what little resources they have. Erin brought with her an 80 lbs. medical trauma bag given to us by the good folks at Covenant Community Church in Arizona. This bag has been a Godsend. Just last night Erin used it’s contents in three medical emergencies. In one case a lady was close to slipping into a coma because her blood sugar was under 40 (normal is 80-120). Erin remembered her trusty bag contained glucose sticks (liquid sugar) and rushed to retrieve them. She shoved them into the mouth of the nearly unconscious lady and averted a major problem.
Other medical organizations working in Haiti are reporting increased cases of Meningitis, Typhoid, Malaria, and Diarrhea among aide workers and refugees. The advisory level for H1N1 has been increased. These are all related to the dirty conditions and crowded living quarters.
Erin had a second contaminated needle stick. After receiving only one needle stick in 14 years of nursing she has now received two in one week. Of course this would have to be in the HIV capital of the Western Hemisphere. She has had several HIV tests and all have come back negative.
The health and attitude of the MTW team is strong. The second MTW Disaster Response team has secured a flight out of Miami on Monday.
Prayer needs: 1) Praise for the rest the team is receiving. 2) Pray for emotions. In the face of so much grief and pain Erin is crying regularly. 3) Pray for additional medical supplies and medication to arrive to the team.