A BOAT, A TRUCK, A PLANE and GOING HOME TO DIE

Posted: March 4, 2010 in Uncategorized

Wharf Jeremie is a large slum of tin roofed houses in Port
au Prince, which is also the place where the boat from the coastal town of
Jeremie comes loaded with people and their produce which is sold at the outdoor
market at the wharf.

We for a few weeks had been taking the Heartline truck into
the area as we treated the less seriously injured on site and took the more
seriously injured back to our field hospital.  We stopped going regularly after a medical group from Italy
set up a tented treatment center in the area.

But this week Chris Plourde who has been driving the truck
took it to Wharf Jeremie and while there we met Margaret, a 59-year-old woman
and her son.  Margaret had tried to
get on the boat going back to Jeremie but was not allowed on because she is
very sick.  She is quite thin and
coughs and shakes and can’t really walk without assistance. 

It was at this time that the Heartline truck pulled into the
wharf and people told her that the white truck people would help her.  Our field people examined her and
decided to bring her back to the field hospital.  There she was examined and tested with a quickie HIV test
and unfortunately it was positive. 
Our medical people also suspected that she could have TB. 

We gave her and her son a couple of cots where they stayed a
bit a part from the other patients because of our concern of being so sick and
perhaps with advanced TB.  Her son
was wonderfully attentive and loving to his mother and he assisted in caring for
her.

We brought her to a clinic that specializes in caring for
those who are HIV positive where she was tested and she tested positive.  The clinic said that she also had to
have TB test before they would consider any treatment but they did express
doubt that she would get any better even with treatment.  We told them that we wanted to get her
healthy enough to be able to get on the boat to Jeremie where she wanted to go
home and die.  They doubted that
this would happen.

We talked about how we could help her get to Jeremie since
she was not allowed to go on the boat for the 12-hour trip to Jeremie.  We talked about putting her and her son
on one of the jammed packed trucks that make the Port au Prince to Jeremie run,
but we questioned how well she would survive the grueling truck ride over the
loosely called dirt and rock roads of Haiti.  And we weren’t sure if she would even be allowed on the
bus.  Our last and best option as
we could see it would be to see of we could get her on one of the small planes
that fly from Port au Prince to Jeremie.

So Tara Livesay contacted MAF (Mission Aviation Fellowship)
here in Haiti to see if we could charter their six passenger plane to take
Margaret home to her place of birth where she wanted to live out her last  days.  And that is what we did.

We (Margaret, her son, Tara, Corkey Cowart, John and the pilot) got
on the six-passenger plane in Port au Prince and made the hour flight to the
coastal town of Jeremie, where we landed on a somewhat rough runway. Margaret,
I’m sure had never been on a plane before but she was simply too sick to even
notice or be afraid.  

When we got off the plane, the first thing she did was stand
of the tarmac and urinate.  She was
too sick to care and the rest of us who were there including the local
policeman and the airport meet the plane guy understood and said nothing.  They came over with a wheel chair which
surprised me and wheeled her to the lone building standing on the
property.  We, after saying
good-bye, got on the plane and made the flight back to Port au Prince minus
Margret.

We of course are saddened that she is so ill but feel that
we did the right thing by flying her to her place of birth where she can spend
her remaining days with family.

It started with a BOAT that wouldn’t take Margaret and the
HEARTLINE TRUCK that brought her to our field hospital to a MAF PLANE that took
her home where she could die with the support of her family.

Heartline is making a difference in so many different ways
and your support helps us help others.

Click here to donate.


THE HEARTLINE TRUCK


FOLLOW JEREMIE OUT TOWARD THE WESTERN TIP OF HAITI


THE PLANE THAT WE TOOK AND HELPING MARGARET ONTO THE PLANE


JEREMIE FROM THE AIR


WHEELING MARGARET TO THE TERMINAL

**************************

JUST HAPPEN: I left the computer for several minutes to go to the field hospital.  As I was there a pickup truck raced up to our gate with an older man that had been hit by a motorcycle.  The medical paper hopped to and transported him to the Miami Field Hospital.

MAN JUST HIT BY A MOTORCYCLE LOADED IN THE BACK OF MY TRUCK FOR TRANSPORT

Advertisements
Comments
  1. Unknown says:

    Thank you for taking the time to share these stories. I have a friend who lives in Kenya. She started a home called "The Living Room" for those who are in the end stages of AIDS. Her goal is to help people die with dignity. I believe Heartline did just that for Ms. Margaret. Thank you.

  2. John says:

    It was most certainly our privilege.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s