Monday, January 25, 2010
Our medical team of 10 arrived in Cap Hatien at 11 AM today. Our Pilot, Mark Byrne is also the Chairman of Flagstone Reinsurance landing us safely in this Northern city of Haiti. Flagstone and Longtail Aviation donated the plane which took us directly from Bermuda to Haiti. We were accompanied by the CEO of BGA, John Tomlinson, whose company generously donated over 10,000$ of medications for the mission. The landing was uneventful without any delay and we undertook a 6 hour bus journey just outside Port aux Prince. Our journey was punctuated by numerous funeral processions that reminded us of New Orleans, with brass bands followed by a throng of mourners. Suprisingly, in northern Haiti it appears to be business as usual. Shops are open, church goers thronged the streets in their Sunday best. Vendors hawk sugar cane, roasted plantains, and other goods. As we came closer to Port aux Prince, it became clear that an exodus from the city was underway. We made it to our hotel without incident. Tomorrow we will begin our evaluation and treatment of patients at the clinic funded by Phillip Rego. We will perform head and neck surgery, eye surgery, extremity surgeries and anything else that we can safely undertake. We will also be assisting with an American College of Surgeons humanitarian medical mission in conjunction with a local medical charity, Partners in Health. We will keep you posted and email some digital images as well. Our work will begin tomorrow and we are excited to work with Mr Rego who is the glue that binds us together.
Christopher L. Johnson, MD, MSc, FACS