Haiti

16/04/2010 at 09:45 Leave a comment


Haiti

I have been traveling and reading Hemispheres Magazine on United. I am always excited when I open the mag and see my friend, Sonya Jackson, managing director Corporate Social Investment for United and president of the United Airlines Foundation. Last month (March) the article was about United’s response and action to provide assistance in Haiti. From coordinating logistics with the military and other relief efforts to collaborating with partners on the materiel needed in Haiti.

In April, Hemispheres presented background and information on the USNS Comfort, the Navy’s mercy-class hospital shop. The article was written by Stephan Talty. Please read it in full here. I did not know there is talk in Congress about de-commissioning the ship – too slow, too expensive, and anachronism when today’s crises require a fast response.

Stats I didn’t know…did you?

  • 900 foot ship
  • 1,000 bed, state of the art hospital on water
  • Staffed by 850 Navy doctors, nurses and corpsmen.
  • $19M in medical equipment (I don’t know how that compares to a land based hospital
  • 12 operating rooms
  • Four x-ray rooms
  • Four ultrasounds
  • Telemedicine access to specialist stateside to advise in real time
  • Staff are pulled from National Navy Medical Center and Walter Reed Army Medical Center with less than 24 hours notice when the Comfort is called to service

Of interest on this sailing, Dr. Mill Etienne, a neurologist who was born in Port-au-Prince and left with his family in 1981 during the violent Duvalier regime. Talk about personal!

I reaped the benefits of my parents coming to the U.S., And I now I’m giving back to the two countries I love. It’s a very special thing.

I have followed the relief efforts in Haiti and made contributions as my very little way of reaching out. But reading this article was different than watching a television news account or reading a newspaper article. Maybe it was my patriotic pride knowing the Comfort was anchored near Haiti offering help. The story behind the story of the people of Comfort and what they do moved me.

Three or four helicopters circle the Comfort waiting to land, discharging two or three patients at a time. I imagine very lucky patients who were found, and determined needed what the Comfort offered – skilled medical staff and equipment that may be able to save a limb or life.

First in was a nine-year-old boy, Jean, who had been pinned under some fallen bricks,

I have a nine-year-old at home, said Captain Shawn Safford, pediatric surgeon. And this boy doesn’t know where his parents are. He has his Dad’s cell phone number…but I don’t know.

This simple sentence, even now, brings tears to my eyes. Yes Jean is hurt and needs help. But he is nine, doesn’t know where his parents are, took a helicopter ride away from home, is now on a ship with many people he does not know. He is NINE – no Mom or Dad in the emergency room with him. I have no doubt everyone on the comfort is well trained. But I could not imagine what he was feeling, how scared or shocked he was. Fixing “stuff” when it goes wrong is easy – I am talking about the emotional side.

Comfort handled 85 patients the first two days. Many with fractures. Dr. William Todd, a pediatric surgeon specializing in fractures, handled intake. 

With limbs come function,” he said, “and in poor countries, function is life.

OMG – really? Another layer. Sure I thought about all the injured people and many who lost their life. But what about life after earthquake. When Haiti is, I hate to say “back to normal” because its’ normal is a tough one….now add on children and parents or adults who tried to earned the family money who can’t walk or write or jobs that are no longer available. Or a country that doesn’t have the ability to provide physical rehabilitation or support. How does a country and its people survive that?  Haiti was on the edge before the earthquake – now hundreds of thousands of its people are sick or hurt.

Reading these two articles while flying on business, the enormity of the Haiti crisis hit me. Water, food, shelter, medical relief – that’s only for now, today, one patient at a time. What will the country do and we to help? Frankly, I don’t have answers, I am sorry to say. But here are some organizations that do. I can’t leave and go to Haiti but am investing my money with some of the organizations listed – because I think they are making a difference on the ground now. And I know you have too.

We have an idea of what the immediate needs are….but what happens when the media goes away and we don’t hear stories anymore? And the people of Haiti, injured and not are trying to rebuild their LIVES in a country that has crumbled.

BTW – Jean, the nine-year-old, was helped by those on the USNS Comfort. They called Dad’s cell phone…and he answered…a bit of relief while reading the article – but then…now what? A family re-connected but a country that can’t help Jean and so many others like him.

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine

Entry filed under: Fundraising. Tags: , , , , , .

Archbishop Desmond Tutu Leadership – A Discussion with Natalie Goldfein

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed


Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Categories

Barbara’s Twitter Feed


HBR.org

Philanthropy - Fundraising - Nonprofit Management

SSIR Articles

Philanthropy - Fundraising - Nonprofit Management

Nonprofit Gladiator

fiercely advocating to make the world a better place!

National Committee For Responsive Philanthropy

Philanthropy - Fundraising - Nonprofit Management

Lilly Family School of Philanthropy

Philanthropy - Fundraising - Nonprofit Management

The Chronicle of Philanthropy

Philanthropy - Fundraising - Nonprofit Management

The Fundraising Authority

Philanthropy - Fundraising - Nonprofit Management

Ahern Donor Communications

Donor communications, written and audited by THE leading expert.

Seth Godin's Blog on marketing, tribes and respect

Philanthropy - Fundraising - Nonprofit Management

Mark Manson

Author. Thinker. Life Enthusiast.

Veritus Group

Building Authentic Donor Relationships

Kivi's Nonprofit Communications Blog

Philanthropy - Fundraising - Nonprofit Management

Wild Woman Fundraising

Philanthropy - Fundraising - Nonprofit Management

Future Fundraising Now

Philanthropy - Fundraising - Nonprofit Management

The Agitator

Philanthropy - Fundraising - Nonprofit Management

Beyond Melbourne

Food Travel Markets Artists

Annual Fund Lab

Sparking Ideas; Generating Conversation

Gippsland Unwrapped

Zero waste, plastic free and no palm oil. My life 'unwrapped' in Gippsland.

%d bloggers like this: