Haitian heartbreak and hope: One story
A friend sent me an email from a priest in Haiti who is struggling to respond to the tragic earthquake.
After driving by night to Kennedy Airport January 12, and flying to Dominican Republic January 13, Conan and I arrived to Haiti this morning in the helicopter of the President of the Dominican Republic.
Our first tasks were the medical evacuation of one of our American volunteers, the medical evacuation of one of our Cuban doctors, the evacuation of the body if one of our American visitors.
The search still continues in the rubble for another missing American volunteer.
We also had 18 funerals today.
One for John who works at our St Luke program. We miss John very much. He often stopped to at my door to tell me the milestone of his developing baby, which delighted him no end. John ran our computerized language lab. Another was for Johanne's mother. Joanne is one of the directors of the St Luke program. All the others were of unknown people who were sadly rotting by the wayside.
The death of Immacula, our only physician assistant, who worked at our huge outpatient side of our hospital. The death of ALL but one of Joseph Ferdinands brothers and sisters, the death of the husband of Jacqueline Gautier as he was visiting a school which fell and all the students (all died), the death of our ex-pequeno Wilfrid Altisme who was in his 5th year of seminary for priesthood. Other stories of deaths of people who are dear to us keep coming in.
We spent the rest of the time managing the countless people with serious and severe wounds, coming to our hospital. We are doing our best for them, under trees and in the parking lot with ever diminishing supplies. We will work throughout the night and beyond. No stores are open, no banks are open. Diesel is running out. Will be out in two days if we don't find a solution, which will mean no power at all. The hospital is without water since there is some broken line between the well and the water tower.
Structural damages to the hospital seem superficial at first glance, but about half the outer perimeter walls have fallen. The old hospital in Petionville is in ruins, And teams of workers, led by Ferel, and been digging for Molly non stop around the clock.
WE HAVE NO INTERNET. OUR PHONES DO NOT WORK. IF A CALL DOES GET THROUGH WE CAN'T HEAR OR BE HEARD. Robin has internet access through a satellite. I asked her to send this message for me, and to ready my emails and answer them as best she can for now.
Please continue to pray for us. We pray for you too.
Fr Rick Frechette
First things first. This dear man works with Friends of the Orphans in Haiti. You can help him directly by going to their website (friendsoftheorphans.com) and making a donation. He is an MD who runs the hospital there and has given away all of his supplies. In a tragic circumstance, one can turn away from hope or toward it. In the midst of so much heartbreak, Father Rick is choosing hope and we should choose to help. Now would be a good time.
For other helping opportunities, click here.