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send Nellyda to Haiti...

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send Nellyda to Haiti...

Postby tippy toes » Thu Feb 25, 2010 12:00 pm

I have a great opportunity to volunteer as a nurse in Haiti for a week in March. I am trying to raise money to get myself there, and to help project medishare get supplies.

If you can help me, donations as small as $10.00 will get me toward my goal of $700.00. Any additional money I raise beyond my goal will help pay for my own travel expenses. Thank you! here is the link; ... as-a-nurse

xo tippy
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Re: send Nellyda to Haiti...

Postby Lil' Snowy Plover » Sat Mar 20, 2010 6:57 pm

This is Tippy's report that she sent to her backers. It's amazing:

Haiti and back...

I returned from Haiti last night. I am exhausted, dehydrated, hungry and in awe of things that I saw and did over the last 8 days. Project Medishare is an amazing NGO, and I have nothing but respect for the hard work they've done in Haiti.

Our field hospital was the only public tertiary hospital in Port-au-Prince. We ran an operating room with 3 stations, an adult ICU, a pediatric/neonatal ICU, a pediatric ward, and adult ward, a wound care area, 2 pharmacies, a lab an emergency room and an outpatient orthopedic clinic where people were followed post amputations.

I worked (volunteered) 13-14 hour shifts in the ICU for the first 6 nights and then volunteered one full day at the general hospital in down town Port-au-Prince, which was mind boggling. While I was there I saw several babies born, many people die, several lives saved, many trauma resuscitations in the ICU and ER, watched surgeries happen a few feet from my ICU patients... we had 4 ventilators (life support) and most of the drugs we have in the US. We had no IV pumps so all of our drugs were run via gravity, and we had to calculate drip factors the old fashioned way. We started all our own IV's, transcribed our own medication order sheets, interpreted our lab results and did things we don't usually do as nurses in the US.

For example, one night (my one night off) I couldn't sleep so I walked to the ICU to check on the new volunteer and my patients. I had to walk by the ER (it's outside) on my way to the ICU tent and there were two patients, new traumas that had just come in on stretchers. There was a fair amount of blood and I had flip-flops on, so no way to protect my skin from falling needles or dripping body fluids. There were no ER nurses around, so I jumped in and went to work in my pajamas, starting IV's, giving immunizations, obtaining vital signs, etc. I told the Doctor that I didn't have any emergency room experience and that she would have to tell me exactly what she needed. She was just glad to have me, or anyone, there.

Compared with the general hospital, our hospital was amazingly clean and well staffed. The general hospital, which is run by Haitians in conjunction with 2 NGOs (Partners in Health and IMC) is very understaffed and overwhelmed. There were hundreds of patients in the adult ward and only 3 nurses and 1 doctor. The NGOs ran the ER and the ICU, but everything else was being turned over to Haitian care. We found dressings that hadn't been changed in 2 weeks. The Haitian nurses have little to no working equipment, such as a blood pressure cuff or thermometers. It was hard to tell if the NGOs were just overwhelmed or burned out, but my concern is that the Haitians need more support and training before they are turned loose to care for their people. There were hundreds of patients that weren't being seen by American or European doctors or nurses, and the Haitian health care staff were clearly overwhelmed by their patient load (hundreds of patients per staff). Since it was just one day of volunteer work there for me, and it wasn't the NGO that I paid to volunteer with, I didn't involve myself in the politics of it. I will say that as far as I can tell, Project Medishare is your best bet for donating money in the area of health care.

I want to thank all of you who have contributed to this project. It looks like I will be donating over 900 dollars to Project Medishare: three times the amount they requested from each volunteer! I am so very proud to be able to give back to this organization, as I truly believe in the work they are doing in Haiti.

Haiti is far from the end of this crisis. I will post some pictures and videos in the next few days as I have a chance to go through my hard drive. There are still years and years of work to be done in the country of Haiti, which has suffered so much corruption, genocide, deforestation, illness and economic strife for such a long time. The earthquake of Jan 12, 2010 was just one more insult to a group of people living in abject poverty. What we do as volunteers may only be a drop in the bucket, but each individual "Merci beaucoup" I heard reminded me that you can only help one person at a time, and that each life saved is a small victory.
"I once had a fishing pole that was not because of a corporation...Gosh I miss that pole."

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Re: send Nellyda to Haiti...

Postby Gazsurf » Sat Mar 20, 2010 7:19 pm

Good work! Awesome.
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Re: send Nellyda to Haiti...

Postby scubetubeular » Mon Mar 22, 2010 11:57 am

Incredible Nellyda.
Thanks for sharing your experiences.
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