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
Below is the text from a press release I received via e-mail from Susan Ropars of the Higher Ground Singers. It is pretty much the same information I passed along yesterday from the Portland Press Herald, but it doesn’t hurt to pass it along again.
Benefit Concert for Haiti: Higher Ground Singers, directed by Michelle Lessard, is excited to be hosting “Spirit and Song United for Haiti” at 1PM on Sunday, March 7th at Noble High School in North Berwick, Maine.
Featuring a wide variety of Seacoast Area musicians and talents, this event is sure to appeal to all ages. Helen Ksypka, aka Extreme Helen, will emcee the benefit, which includes such local legends as Sharon Jones, Barbara London, Salt River, Rock My Soul, The Digbees, Lesley Smith & Sammie Snail, and Women Singing Out! Other performers include Barb Whitney, Michael Tero, The Dover First Parish Praise Team and Sweet Willie D & The North Shore Gospel Ambassadors.
Donations from the heart will graciously be accepted at the door, and 100% of the proceeds will be given to the following organizations:
Hands and Feet Project: a nonprofit organization which is a children’s orphanage/village in Jacmel, Haiti. They are currently rebuilding the homes that were destroyed in the orphanage and providing medical care to the injured children. (www.handsandfeetproject.org)
NEBCO Foundation – Haiti Amputee Rehab Team (HART): a New Hampshire-based team of doctors, working with the New England Brace Co. to provide prosthetics to children who lost limbs as a result of the earthquake. This team of doctors will be making their first trip to Haiti in early March. (www.nebcofoundation.org)
As always, do your homework before giving to any organization. The Better Business Bureau is always a great place to start to check out a charity.
Posted in Disaster, Maine
Tagged aid, amputees, Barb Whitney, Barbara London, Better Business Bureau, doctors, earthquake, Haiti, Haitians, Hands and Feet Project, Helen Ksypka, Higher Ground Singers, Lesley Smith & Sammie Snail, medical care, Michael Tero, NEBCO, New England Brace Co., Noble High School, North Berwick, orphanage, orphans, Portland Press Herald, prosthetics, relief, Rock My Soul, Salt River, Sharon Jones, Spirit and Song United for Haiti, Sweet Willie D & The North Shore Gospel Ambassadors, The Digbees, The Dover First Parish Praise Team, Women Singing Out
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
CALAIS, Maine — Dr. Robert Chagrasulis, a trauma surgeon in Calais, was in the first wave of international health clinicians to make their way to the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince after the devastating earthquake of Jan. 12.
In a recent telephone interview, Chagrasulis recalled the five days he spent with a clinical team treating dazed survivors of the quake at an open-air clinic on a soccer field in the ruined city.
“We set up under some trees,” he said. Survivors came in droves, seeking help for untreated fractures, festering infections, respiratory complaints, and aches and pains related to injuries they had suffered in the collapse of the city. Many people also had psychological symptoms — fear, grief, sleeplessness.
Click this link to the rest of today’s story by Meg Haskell of the Bangor Daily News.
Posted in Disaster, Maine
Tagged aid, Calais Rotary Club, Dominican Republic, earthquake, Good Samaritan Hospital, Haiti, Haitian, Haitian Creole, Hispaniola, medical care, Port-au-Prince, relief, surgeon, surgery, trauma surgeon