Medics return from Haiti mission
Mon, 01 Mar 2010 04:32:05 GMT — It's been almost two months since the deadly earthquake hit Haiti, killing more than 200,000 and displacing 1,000,000 others. According to volunteers working there though, every day things are getting better. Columbia nurse Jackie Reed and paramedic Rick Baker took a lot of pictures during their recent medical mission trips to northern Haiti. "The most incredible experience and the most devastating experience that you ever would go through, I think you saw there in Haiti, Reed said. They worked in a hospital about 75 miles from Port au Prince. This was Baker's second trip. "It felt like there was a lot of unfinished business from the first time, Baker said. You really hated leaving knowing there was still so much work to be done." Much of that work focused on helping people who had already gone through surgery and needed more care. "Amputations and surgeries were not done in the most stable environment, Reed said. A lot of wounds were infected and a lot of patients were having to be taken back to have revisions done." Many of those amputees were children. Some had been orphaned by the quake and didn't know their names. "It was amazing how all these young children could be walking around and playing with amputations and just not really realizing what they had went through, Reed said. The pair formed close relationships with their patients. In Baker's case, it was a child named Giovanni who stole his heart. "Poor little guy was so shell shocked that I really bonded with him right away, Baker said. I really took him under my wing to make sure that nothing would happen to him while his mom was being cared for." The boy's mother was paralyzed and asked Baker to take her son. The mom through the translator said, 'I can't care for myself, I can't care for him and I know you love him and would take care of him. I want you to take him.' and it just broke my heart, Baker said. Both Baker and Reed are planning a trip back. They hope the next time their pictures will be even more proof of a country and it's people on the mend. The pair did their volunteer work through the CRUDEM Foundation. The foundation operates the Sacre Coeur Hospital which uses donations to help Haitians. For more information, please click on the link below.