This is Emily's first trip to Haiti. Her cousin Jesse, whom I wrote about here, helped arrange the trip. Jesse is volunteering at the Haitian embassy in Washington, DC, assisting with the tent cities. In her first e-mail home, Emily writes:
Conditions are worse than imaginable. The entire city has suffered distruction. The streets are lined with make-shift tents. Even families whose shelter remains standing choose to live in the streets for fear of after-shock. Recently orphaned children sit blank-stared on sidewalks just lost. As we drove to the hospital, the smells are overwhelming. Many bodies remain trapped under rubble...it has now been over 2 weeks. My team joined with other Doctors without Borders. We sleep in tents outside the Hope for Haiti clinic across the street from Hospital Adventista. My first night, I was woken up to someone from the hospital across the street calling for the "blonde-hair anesthesia". There are two anesthetists (myself included) to our team. I grabbed my new-found CRNA friend and ran next door. There was a stat c-section at the hospital. The conditions are unbelievable. Make-shift ORs with out-dated drugs that I have only read about. But we have an anesthesia machine!
This morning I worked in a public health clinic. 6 of us assessed over 250 Haitian men, women, and children. Later in the afternoon I went back to the hospital to help with anesthesia.
Tommorow more surgeries. Will try to keep in touch later.
Take nothing for granted.