When push literally came to shove outside the gates of the medical site yesterday, Project HOPE was on the front lines trying to mediate the matter.
Ella Blot and Murielle Nose spent their last day with Project HOPE helping to translate the controlled chaos at the front gates of the Coast Guard base, which is the medical site.
The patients crammed themselves together in lines outside like sardines waiting to be let through the gates by the translators and military who sorted through the complaints to match them to the flow of the compound.
A message would come over the radio and someone would shout, “I need 20 more eyes.”
Nose and Blot would ask who needed their eyes checked and patients would scramble.
Some people have never gotten their eyes or teeth checked in their whole lives, Blot said.
“I wish we could see everyone,” said Blot, it’s disheartening to turn people away.
Project HOPE, however, has had a great experience in the field in Haiti.
Cary Ward, an internal medicin doctor, was surprised at the amount of unique and extensive cases presented in Haiti.
For example, William Owen saw his patient from the previous day immediately after getting back from the medical site. He wanted to check on her because she had a CT scan.
In a white Sunday dress and no shoes, she looked relaxed on the USNS Comfort. Her face is covered in a tumor which squeezes one eye shut, offsets her nostrils to the right and doesn’t even hint at a nose.
Other than this, she looks great, said Owen.
The CT results didn’t give much hope. “She’ll need a lot of work,” said Owen. But, she may not have time on her side to get the visas and paperwork for entry into the U.S. to receive her needed operations and chemotherapy.
Hundreds of patients were seen at the medical site and 31 surgeries were performed aboard the ship.
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