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Friday, January 22, 2010

Hospital at Jimani

Tonight we arrived in Jimani around 11:30 PM. Rev. Ted Krey greeted us. After brief introductions, the team learned that President Kessa would be arriving at the border of Haiti and the Dominican Republic around 6:30 A.M. Most of the team headed to bed.

Matt Schlanger and I went around with Jake Fiene and Pastor Krey to tour the hospital. We met Julie Valarious (pictured above), an EMT from Waterloo, IL. She is a member of the LCMS WR-HC Mercy Medical Team (MMT) and a member of Immanuel Lutheran Church. She told us that the Good Samaritan Hospital in Jamani is the only hospital close to Haiti performing surgeries. She said the MMTteam from WR-HC was needed. When they arrived two nights ago, one person was trying to care for 250 to 300 people. Julie said it was a great privilege to serve the people in need.

After Jake Fiene and Matt Schlanger went to bed, Pastor Krey took me on his rounds of visiting the LCMS team to make sure they had food and water, and to visit the most critically ill patients. Some of the people Pastor Krey took me to see and provided pastoral care to were in danger of dying -- perhaps even that evening.

Tonight doctors performed emergency surgery on a woman whose unbaby had died three days prior. One of the RNs told me the doctors did good work tonight in saving the woman's life. One patient had has face sheared off by a falling block in the earthquake. Other people had fractures and broken bones as well as amputations. We also visited the make shift ICU where we visited a woman who doctors thought was going to die the night before.

After Pastor Krey stepped away, a physician named Vicki, a Presbyterian doctor with another agency, told me what a great job Pastor Krey was doing. She also said, "While it is great to have so many people assisting now, we need to remember the need these people will have five or six weeks from now. How will the man whose arm we amptutated today to save his life support himself a month from now?"

The scene while well managed is overwhelming in many ways. So many more details could be told, but alas only a few hours until heading to Haiti to meet President Kessa.

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