Monday, January 25, 2010

Life, Death and Birth in Haiti

HOPE volunteers, Dr. Harold Timboe and Dr. Larry Ronan witness life, death and birth in Haiti.

When we have their sick and injured--HOPE and Comfort will prevail.

From all across the US they came to the people of Haiti in their time of great need, bringing health and HOPE on behalf of the American people and we found it was our lives that were changed as we witnessed the resiliency of this nation and its people battered by years of poverty and the calamity of this great disaster.

The USNS Comfort has quickly neared capacity and is working closely with the government of Haiti, the UN and USAID to optimize the utilization of its considerable capabilities to the benefit of the sick and injured. Disease outbreaks in the cities and over 500 internal displaced-people camps is being held in check.With each patient comes a human interest story unique to their circumstances--and one died, yet one was saved and one born.

Yesterday, Dr Larry Ronan and I were ashore assisting triage and coordinating transport to the Comfort. Many patients arrive in surge, some necessitating the difficult decision of expectant to die, while others need urgent transfer to have further chance of life. The helicopter arrives, Dr. Ronan ventilating one patient with sepsis from gangrene on the leg, and I attending to a pregnant patient with eclampsia and high fever near term in active labor. As we load the helicopter, the ventilated patient dies, Dr. Ronan and I continue to escort the soon-to-be mother on the flight to the ship for an emergency C-section. This morning mother is rested, safe and happy in good hands and a new life is doing well. One died, and two are now living through the collective efforts of many. HOPE and Comfort prevail.

Dr. Harold Timboe, Project HOPE volunteer


  1. The selfless courage and personal sacrifce volunteers like Drs. Timboe and Ronan are demonstrating is nothing short of inspirational. Thank you to all of our volunteers. You are setting an amazing example to us all of human compassion and decency at its finest.

  2. Thank you for all you are doing! Your efforts mean a lot of us here in the States, as well as to the those you are helping. God bless you and all of the volunteers helping in Haiti.