Tuesday, February 23, 2010

First 24 Hours in Haiti

Adams News Letter

February 2010

The plan for our family is to be in Haiti by the end of next month. Please pray as we finish up some last details and make arrangements for our belongings to be sent over. Thank you for your continued prayers for our family and the stress of being separated and nomadic. We are blessed with wonderful family who have not complained about us crashing into their lives and families for an indefinite period of time. We are looking at moving into a small travel trailer for the next month. Pray that the details of this will come together smoothly.

We love you all and appreciate each and every pray and word of encouragement. We know it is the prayers of our "family" that have kept us close to Gods heart and our minds open to His strength and guidance.

In His Service,

Lowell, Robin , Lance , Cassie & Maddie
Lowell writes:...

FIRST 24 HOURS in Haiti

After flying into Port au Prince late Tuesday afternoon, I tried to get some sleep out on the back veranda under a mosquito net. There was a cool breeze and as I fell asleep, my thoughts were of the last few days - snow and unsafe roads, 4 am to midnight Sunday drive from Pennsylvania to
Florida, then saying good bye to my wife and kids, and on to Haiti. I was exhausted, but my mind wondered what would the next few days be like? What was I stepping into?

I woke early and got my good old cold Haitian shower. What a wake up. After breakfast, into the truck we went and off to Petit Goave. We passed many areas of destruction and tent cities.

But what really caught my eye was the work crews that were rebuilding walls and cleaning the streets. The rebuilding of a city. Only small scale - but work was starting.

After 3 1/2 hours we made it to Petit Goave. Along the way were many smashed houses and cracks in the road.

The clinic/ hospital consisted of a building and a wooden shed and some tarps. We were told that they had treated 400 people the day before. Usually the arrival of a truck means new medical staff and some going home. So myself and Helen Jacobson (a former missionary nurse to Haiti) were replacing a team from Canada of 2 doctors and 4 nurses. Not a good exchange for us. Well, after lunch, clinic finished and we got settled for the night. I made one bad mistake, I told everyone I was an OR nurse.

After about 30 minutes of sleep, I was awakened to the fact that we had a lady in labor and she was unable to deliver. We needed to do a C section. So I stumbled into my OR clothes and headed to the delivery room. It is a back room of a cement block building that survived the earthquake. A single light bulb lit the room. There was a team of surgeons from Florida next door who we called over to assist us. After some discussion we discovered that we did not have any oxytocin, a drug needed for post surgical uterine contractions. So a young missionary, Michael, a translator, and I jumped into a beat up old truck at 1 am and drove 30 minutes down the road to a house that had a stock pile of meds.

After some searching we found our drug and headed back. On arrival we found that the surgeons were trying to get into a local hospital that had a functioning OR. The problem was the hospital was locked with no body home. So they broke out a window and climbed in and started getting the OR ready.
Off the shore of Petit Goave is a Spanish Navy ship that has a medical staff that help with clinic. We did not have any OB GYN doctors so we called them to advise our General Surgeon and Pediatrician about post op care and potential complications. In the background you could hear the screams of the laboring woman. The Spanish thought we were in danger and in about 10 minutes two Humvee's arrived with 50 cal guns ready to save us. We, of course, were fine and only needed medical advice.
We got the call over our walkie talkies that the OR was open, so into the back of truck went the lady and all her family and medical staff, and off we went to the OR. The C-section was mostly routine with myself scrubbing and an ortho surgeon as my circulator.
( Check out some video footage on http://www.youtube.com/ - "Emergency C-Section at 3AM in Petit Goave Haiti on 2/10/2010").
Some coban dressings covered the holes in the surgeons cloth gown. A knife, a few clamps and body-wall retractor were our tools. After surgery, everyone piled back in the pickup truck with the patient and baby boy on a mattress, and headed on down the road to our clinic, because there was no one to care for patients at the hospital . The patient and baby and family spent the night in a tent with Helen.

I went to bed at 4:30 am and was up at 7am for more clinic. The next afternoon mother and baby were discharged to home.

That was my first 24+ hrs in Haiti.

Just an update about Lance. He flew to the states on Friday Feb. 19th and will be in CO for the next 2weeks. Then to PA to visit family and friends. We hope to have him join us in south FL and then in Haiti for several weeks. We will post stories from his time in India as soon as we get to
hear them.

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