ProVision Foundation in cooperation with Cedar Springs Presbyterian Church has established a Haiti Relief Fund which will involve funding the organizations listed to the right and will balance immediate relief and ongoing development funding as more assessment and strategy is solidified. Additional trusted organizations may be included in the distribution of this fund if deemed appropriate and helpful to the overall effort. Cedar Springs Presbyterian Church is handling the gifts for this fund.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Update: Chadasha Foundation #9

update from Phil Guthe (his wife Terrye is on the first medical team establishing our clinic in Port au Prince)

Terrye borrowed a cell phone (probably from the blue network) and called home this evening (Tuesday 1/26/2010). This was day one in Port au Prince (PAP). They set the clinic up yesterday afternoon and worked with patients today. They are being housed in an actual home; about 20 people altogether. The few women shared beds and rooms while the men slept on mattresses on the living room floor or out on the deck. It is a car caravan commute in unison to the church where the clinic is set up. I asked Terrye if she feared for her safety and she said no. Needless to point out, she commented on the structural devastation she’s witnessed although the church and the house remained in tact from the damaging earthquake and aftershocks. Even more touching to her, obviously, were the people milling about looking helpless and homeless. I don’t know if they advertised the clinic’s opening but I asked her about specifics of what she did today. I could tell she was exhausted with her day’s work (a spouse knows these things by voice) and she was guarded in her speech. “Well, we had to amputate a toe and another came in with a really serious wound that needed attention.” I thought maybe it was a slow day since they just opened their doors so I asked how many people she thought came through the doors. She said, “Oh, probably 200.” Oh my gosh! So I asked her other than the two specific cases she mentioned, what did she do? “I just loved on these people, hugged a lot and told them I loved them. The boy now missing a toe smiled the entire time I was with him.” I asked her if she had food & water, “Yes, I have the bags of beef jerky I brought.” I pressed her on this and learned she’s had meals and a feast was being prepared for supper as we spoke. She was so tired she couldn’t really understand my question regarding her sustenance. The jerky is still unopened as it has not been needed.
I couldn’t gather if she has showered but she claimed to be dirty. Terrye’s idea of roughing it is staying in a Holiday Inn instead of a Marriott so this is a real challenge for her. I asked if she used the mosquito netting. She built a tent over the bed where she and her bed buddy slept. She claimed her arms are now covered in bites but she never saw what got her. I call them no see ums. She was told upon her return to the USA to de-lice and take a round of antibiotics to ward off whatever she may have picked up while there. She has told those she’s with that she’s good to stay for as long as she’s needed, beyond a month if necessary. I asked her if she thought she was being a help or just in the way. Her answer came with a hint of emotion, “Oh yes, I’m needed. I’m doing whatever I’m asked to do. Jimani is a full bore MASH unit. While I was there en route to PAP, two huge helicopters picked up loads of patients and transported them to what I guess would be a hospital ship. I was a bit overwhelmed at the extent of surgical procedures being performed in Jimani and feel I’m in a place in PAP much better suited for me. We almost lost one little boy today but I think he’s going to be fine now.” Her comments to me are a bit understated, don’t you think?
Phil Guthe

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