USNS COMFORT & RONDI

Posted: March 2, 2010 in Uncategorized

It has been wonderful to see how people care
about Haiti.  We’ve had opportunity to trade patients, work together,
barter for meds and see how organizations can work together for the good
of the Haitian wounded.  We’ve brought people to and from the
University of Miami Field Hospital, the Merlin organization, Double
Harvest and other places that have come together in a time of huge need.
The USNS Comfort, a US Navy medical ship has been sitting in the bay off
Port-au-Prince for weeks since the disaster.  Our doctor, Jen Halverson,
brought them one of their first patients, Collette, who had a broken
pelvis and was 7 months pregnant.  Mom and baby returned to us weeks
later alive and healing!  It was a celebration.  They gave us patients
we gave them some.  Jen kept in contact with them.  Some of their
personnel visited us.  A Navy midwife came and checked out our prenatal
program.  I was struck by how she seemed to genuinely care about the
ladies.
After being here for weeks the Comfort was returning to Bethesda,
Maryland and bringing her medical staff back to their usual post.  They
finished up with their last patient, Rondi, a small boy with terrible
facial injuries that went untreated for weeks.  Jen, Tara, and I got to
go pick Rondi up to come to Heartline to finish his medical care.  I
thought we would just receive him from the boat and take off home.
We arrived and were invited to tour the ship, meet the medical staff,
eat lunch and then receive Rondi and his big brother.  They loaded us up
with his meds and supplies.  Tears were shed.  Hugs were given.  Well
wishes were spoken over and over.  This little boy had been loved.
I always think of military folks as stoic, keeping emotions under wrap.
 Not this group.  Doctors and medical staff of all sort stood around
chatting, taking photos, well wishing and there was a sadness that they
were packing up and heading back to the states.  They didn’t seem like
people counting the minutes to go home – they seemed like people who
cared and who wanted to do all they could to alleviate suffering.  I was
moved.
The ship was massive and I was in awe.  In spite of the many patients
the medical staff talked about people as individuals, worried out loud
as to where these folks would return to after treatment.  I saw tears of
caring.
Off we drove with the last patient treated on the USS Comfort.  Rondi
and his big brother wore Comfort baseball caps and were surrounded by
gifts and supplies.  The Comfort ended it’s season in Haiti while we
sped away with their final patient.  A war ship indeed – fighting
suffering.  Made me proud of the US Navy – and awed to be part of this
moment in history.


Beth McHoul


TARA, BETH & DR. JEN ON A BOAT GOING OUT TO THE USNS COMFORT


USNS COMFORT

DR. JEN TARA, AND BETH WITH PERSONNEL  FROM THE USNS COMFORT


RONDI BEING HANDED OFF TO HEARTLINE

This little boy has suffered horribly as he spent almost three weeks without treatment after blocks fell on his face.  He among other things developed a severe infection and had maggot that had infested his wounds.


Rondi getting ready to get in the pickup for his time with Heartline.

Every day I take time to sit in the corner of the field hospital and watch the patients as they interact with one another and as they begin to get up from their beds and walk with assistance.  We have such wonderfully dedicated people that have come to minister to the injured. 
Your financial help is greatly needed.  Please click here to donate.

John McHoul





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