Posted: February 4, 2010 in Uncategorized
At some point I hope that life at Heartline will get back to normal or to what was prior to Tuesday.  When we ask a Haitian who has sustained an injury when she got the injuries, she will say, "Since Tuesday."  She doesn’t need to say which Tuesday or the date, we all understand.  It, though, would appear that it may be months from now or perhaps it will never again be that we (Heartline) will function as we did before Tuesday.

We over the past couple of days had to make some decisions:

  • Is it time to close the clinic and concentrate on the aftercare of the injured that Heartline has treated?
  • Do we expand and take in the injured who have been treated at other places and now need a place to recover?

We have decided to expand our aftercare to others that need care for several weeks while they recover from their injuries.  This was not an easy decision as it means that we must continue to have medical and non medical people come in to help and this is no easy thing as commercial flights still are not coming into Haiti.   It means that we must continue to have supplies and of course finances to care for the injured.

Heartline has not done this before, We never had earthquake practice.  In some areas we are learning as we go.  Yesterday, one of the docs called and asked if there was anyone available to transport two patients to a hospital and I said, "Sure we can do that," and then after I hung up, I realized that those who normally could do the transport were all elsewhere and busy: one was at the U.S, Consulate trying to get our remaining five children out, another was in a slum area with our group truck picking up the injured, another was at another hospital transporting a patient, another was several miles out of the city picking up four drums of diesel and two visitors were fixing broken pipes that had broken during the earthquake.  So it fell to Beth, who had never been to the newly erected field hospital to transport or receive patients.  She found her way and now she will be considered as one of those who can do this hospital run in the future.
We are building relationships with people and organizations as we together are trying to help the injured.  Heartline has quickly become known as a place that gives quality care.  This is due to the amazing volunteers that have and are coming.  Just last night we had several leave and several come in with a mountain of supplies.  We on Friday at 6:00 AM will be at the airport again to bring those that are  leaving  and to pick up another group of volunteers.
Here is a link to an article written by Dr. Jeff Hersh, who is a member of one of our nation’s Disaster Medical Assist Teams (DMAT), part of our National Disaster Medical System (NDMS).  Click here to read the article and pay attention the second to last paragraph.  There are hundred, if not thousands,  of organizations working here to help,  I’m glad that Heartline can be cited as one that is trying to do it well, even if we seemingly are  just plodding along.
Our field hospital grows in size at night as family members come to visit their loved ones and somehow don’t leave.  People are afraid and so many still won’t sleep inside so they are sleeping on mats on the ground or under the open sky or under tarps.  Some also have real camping tents and some are sleeping in tents put together with sheets and other such material.   I told our board that we need at least 50 more cots for people to sleep on and then last night when I got home I went on line and priced the cots and quickly realized that they are a lot more expensive than I thought.  So today we will try to find 50  three inch foam mattresses for the patients.  
I got back from the airport with the new arrivals at about 8:30 last night and headed over to where our son Sam, the chef, as been preparing an evening meal.  But first I stopped off at our so called field hospital that until January 12th was our boy’ home, to greet everyone and chat with the workers, volunteers, and patients.  I was told that a motorcycle driver  who had hit a dog while on his moto had been brought to us and that they were sewing him up even as I had arrived.  We earlier in the day had received a man who had been hit by a car.  I went over to the table as one of the docs was working on him him and asked him what happen and I told him that I ride a moto as well and he looking at me said, "I know, you drive a green 125 cc Jialing motorcycle.  I must admit that I was a tad surprised that he knew this but of course there are not a lot of aging, long curly hair, messily dressed people in Haiti.  I am glad to write that he in a couple if weeks should be back on his bike and zooming along the hazardous streets of Haiti.
I find that I prefer taking pictures of those in recovery.  Here are a few:

This little guy wanted to sit on my motorcycle

This little girl is fighting off sleep as she keeps a close eye on the little doll she has received

This little guy is now walking around and now and then he will give a beautiful smile

Getting better

We, of course, feed those in our care, providing three meals a day and we try to give fresh fruit like these tangerines

Yogi is one of our dogs and he is thrilled to have all the people at his house (the field hospital/boys’ house) but the Haitians, not use to such a big dog aren’t as thrilled that he is there.  But, I think, that he is growing on them.


  • We are still working on the walls that fell down during the earthquake.  I hope that the work will be finished within a week.  We have yet to start fixing the walls at my house that fell down.
  • Please pray as we are still trying to get our 5 remaining children to the States.
  • The Heartline Ladies are still at it and last night we put 47 pounds of newly made purses on the plane with those that left.  Check out the work of these ladies at Haitian Creations.
  • Had a 4.6 aftershock at 5:00 AM this morning.
  • I continue to hear of people that I had known who were killed as a result of the earthquake.  Most of these were killed by collapsing buildings or walls.  Some in our church were killed.  I heard that a man and his wife that owned a market that I would often go into and whom I have known for years were both killed as the market collapsed on top of them.  Yesterday as I was going by the spot where this market  used to be, I couldn’t find the market as is simply was gone, the debris carted away.  I felt sad!
Heartline is not on cruise control we are being proactive in ministering to the injured and displaced.  Your prayers and help are still urgently needed.

John McHoul
Living in Haiti since 1989
  1. Chris says:

    I\’m doing a fundraiser on my blog this weekend for Heartline. I will donate $2 to Heartline for everyone who posts a gratitude list on their blog with a link to my blog, then tells me about it in a comment on my blog. If you just want to comment on my blog, that counts, too.Last week, a woman who hosted this kind of gratitude celebration received 180 comments on her blog. For each comment, she sen $1 to Doctors Without Borders. I don\’t have a large following, but I\’m hoping people who don\’t know me will share the news and join in. My family is prepared to donate up to $200. That means I need to receive 100 comments this weekend on my blog. My blog address is http://chrisalba-enchantedoak.blogspot.com Can you help me get the word out, John?God\’s blessings on you.Chris Alba, Heartline supporter

  2. John says:

    Sure thing!!!Come on guys, let\’s do it!!!

  3. Unknown says:

    I\’m trying to decide if your hair or your moto is a more popular subject for you. You sure put a lot of photos of your moto on the net! LOLChris P.

  4. John says:

    Hey Chris,The moto is all yours when you come in a few days. But the hair is mine.

  5. Kimberly says:

    Dear John,Thank you so much for your daily updates. My husband Kevin is over there helping out with your group and I appreciate getting on your website each night to see how the day has been for the group overall. God bless you all and stay safe!

  6. John says:

    I am thankful for Kevin being here and thank you for sharing your husband with us.

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