Sunday, January 31, 2010
Time To Hand Over The Baton. Another Team Arrives, As We Depart..
Montrouis, Haiti. January 31, 2010
No doubt this will be the last installment written in Haiti for this mission. We are schedule to be flown out of Port aux Prince by Mark Byrne of Longtail Aviation and Flagstone Re. It is time to say Au Revoir to Haiti; yes, until we meet again. On the drive to town, it was apparent that the earthquake did not crush the will of worshipers to gather for Sunday services. Many churches have been decimated, forces services outside. Churches are not only places of worship in Haiti, the compounds also serve as living quarters for the members. I visited one church this morning and several of their parish members died in the melee of the earthquake. This church held their service under a canopy made out of an army parachute. This is also were the congregation sleeps at night. The Pastor defiantly reassured me that they would rebuild but he confessed that he did not know from where the money would come. Haitians are simply not built to break. If I was a betting man, I would place my money on this preacher and Haiti to overcome any obstacles.
We completed a total of 115 surgeries with today's procedures. Unfortunately, there are so many patients that require procedures and ongoing care. We are now tasked with staffing and securing funding for this lonely outpost of a clinic. Again. If "faith the size of a mustard seed can move mountains" I would wager that Phillip Rego and his Ministry will be providing excellent medical care to the needy for a very long time. For the moment, this weary surgeon and his team will have to be rotated to the back of the battle field. We will eternally grateful for the steadfast dedication, work ethic, and love the surgical gave without hesitation. Dr Alicia Stovell-Washington worked tirelessly and seemingly effortlessly, often outside of her field of training. For this she is deserving of a medal of honour or the Bermuda equivalent. Our surgical technicians were no less impressive in their devotion, sacrifice, and tenacious will to achieve our goal of providing world-class surgery to these humble Haitians in their hour of need. We would also like to extend a debt gratitude to Lois Wilson and Dianne Flood who, from Bermuda planned, worried, and willed us through this mission through their words on encouragement and their deeds. We would also like to thank Dr Stanley James and the EMTs (Erin Lovell and David Foley), who participated in the mission. Additionally, the two surgical techs - Derrick McLin and Derrick Washington.
Their contribution will not be easily forgotten. Finally, this mission would not be possible were it not for the vision, sweat, blood, and tears of the beknighted Phillip Rego. This is a humble man who performs noble acts with the stealth of a "thief in the middle of the night.". He represents the best that Bermuda can be and we are proud to have shared this pivotal moment in the history of Haiti with him. We leave in the knowledge that Haiti will survive and thrive. We are taking with us some life altering lessons on dignity in the face of overwhelming despair and triumph on the precipice of crushing defeat. We leave a part of heart here with the promise that we return and continue the work that we have started. Au Revoir, Au Revoir Haiti: Until we next meet.
Dr. Christopher Johnson