Dr. Michael Regan met the girl — 14 years old, bright-eyed and sweet — in a hospital tent filled with flies and patients. Her lower leg had been crushed during Haiti’s January earthquake. She’d received treatment afterward, but in the nonsterile medical facility an infection had set in. Regan changed the pins in her leg, cleaned out the infection, gave her antibiotics. In the United States she could have had surgery in a state-of-the-art facility and would have been fine.
Not in Haiti. Regan predicted her leg will have to be amputated within a year. And there’s nothing the Auburn orthopedic surgeon could do for her — or for so many others in the very same tent.
“Oh, God, I can remember them all. There were so many of them. I’m a softy for kids, though,” he said. “I would have taken that kid in a heartbeat. If I could have found a way to get her here, she would be here.”
Regan returned from a stint in Haiti in March, one of three doctors with Central Maine Orthopaedics in Auburn to go. The doctors — Regan, Jeffrey Bush and David Brown — each spent a week in the impoverished country, taking turns away from their orthopedic practice this spring so while one was in Haiti two others could cover patients in Auburn.
Click on the link for the rest of today’s story by Lindsay Tice in the Lewiston Sun Journal.
Posted in Disaster, Maine
Tagged aid, amputation, Central Maine Orthopaedics, earthquake, emergency medical service, Haiti, Haitians, humanitarian, infection, medical care, Project Medishare, quake
The young woman had been pinned in the earthquake, her right leg freshly amputated below the knee. Her left leg was a mess, femur shattered. When Ron Chicoine saw her at (Hospital) Immaculee Conception, she’d been sitting for two weeks waiting for help.
“She was just amazing,” Chicoine said, even positioning herself onto the operating room table when surgeons were ready.
Mona Theriault remembers one 5-year-old boy who’d broken his wrist in a fall and sat in the waiting room, quiet, dripping blood on the floor, bone sticking out.
“There were a lot of stoic people there,” she said.
Chicoine and Theriault, both from St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center, and the other half of their volunteer medical team returned from a trip to Les Cayes, Haiti, last week. The team’s organizer, Cynthia DeSoi, got back Thursday.
They performed roughly 40 surgeries in six days, many on bones that had been broken and crushed in the earthquake that claimed nearly a quarter-million lives. Conditions were sparse. Surgeons wore head lamps when the hospital’s electricity cut out. Tools were soaked in buckets of bleach when the water cut out.
Click on the link for the rest of today’s story by Kathryn Skelton of the Lewiston Sun-Journal.
Posted in Disaster
Tagged aid, amputation, conditions, earthquake, Haiti, Haitian, Immaculee Conception, Les Cayes, medical care, relief, St. Mary's Regional Medical Center, surgeons