THE HEARTLINE FIELD HOSPITAL: WINDING DOWN

Posted: March 25, 2010 in Uncategorized
We have had thousands of applicants and at least a hundred who actually
came to volunteer in the after-quake.   I watched broken bodies heal,
broken lives semi-restored and as it happened we were healed as well.  I
am not who I was on January 11th.  None of us are.
Our makeshift field hospital is winding down.  Personalities have come
and gone most of whom have been extraordinary human beings.  There were
only a few who tried our patience and who allowed Haiti to make their
flaws bigger rather than smaller.  Most of us dare not complain knowing
that we are so blessed to have legs and arms that work, houses to go
home to and food to feed our families.  We are always aware that many do
not have this.  Many who lie on the cots in our hospital don’t know
where they will end up.  Some still have loved ones buried under rubble.
 Their broken but healing wounds remind them daily of all they have
lost.
Jen Halverson MD flew in on January 17th and helped start up our
clinic/hospital/safe haven the very next day.  She left the other day
due to responsibilities state side.  I woke up this morning to emails
written by Jen at 3:30 AM giving more instructions on how to best treat
our women.  She is on the job from afar!  Day after day she ran the
hospital, advocated at other hospitals for our patients, cared for our
patients, ran logistics, and developed loving relationships with all of
those under her care.  She is a pediatrician but don’t let that fool
you.  Jen can do anything needed and she does!
The night before she left we had a cake to thank her and many patients
gave speeches, sang songs, hugged and cried as they said goodbye to the
doctor who had cared for them so lovingly.  They made her cards of
thanks and well wishes.  Jen went around and talked softly to each
person.
We have other staff who are cherished as well.  Jessica Foots has worked
tirelessly as charge nurse and mom figure to our gang.  She calls me
"boss" I call her "bossy".  Our patients will have another teary goodbye
and speeches when Jessica leaves us.  Brian our PT is loved and hated!
 He makes people work and go beyond what they think they can.  He is
coach, dad and friend to so many of our folks.  Many owe how far they
have come to him.  Like most of us Brian works long days without giving it a
thought.
Our hospital was thrown together.  People sleep on cots in the driveway.
 Most of us wouldn’t even call this camping.  Even those with homes
don’t want to go on discharge day.  Some stay longer just because.  It
certainly isn’t our comfy conditions!  It’s love!  The love of our staff
treating people with dignity, hearing their stories, giving compassion.
Jen always had time to do this.  Every doctor that came for two weeks at
a time treated our people with such love.  Our long termers like Barbie
who is a PA  give great care under
any conditions and love people.
This is not the norm in Haiti.  Patients rarely have a voice or rights
in a third world hospital.  Our volunteers usually don’t want to leave
and do so reluctantly.  Our patients don’t want to go home (if they have
one) and me – I’m just glad I am home and that I get to be a part of
this.
Our world shook – but love stands firm.

Beth McHoul

We are working to have the field hospital close its doors to new incoming patients within the next few weeks.  We will continue to care for those that are not ready to go home and we will continue to transport those that need further surgeries, additional skins grafts, and other procedures.  The Heartline Field Hospital has truly been a haven of peace, comfort and healing that the Lord used in the lives of the patients and volunteer staff and in the lives of the the Heartline Missionaries as well.  It has truly been a community.
We now are focusing on the housing needs of our workers and Heartline family and over the past three days have visited sites where some temp houses are being assembled.  As soon as I finish this blog we will be meeting over this issue and please pray with us for wisdom from God as we look to be the hands of Jesus in Haiti.
Your ongoing giving is making a difference.  Please click here to donate.

John

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