SAVING AMANDA UPDATED

Posted: April 9, 2010 in Uncategorized
Today’s blog is from our April 2nd e-letter and since that e-letter we have received perhaps over 200 e-mails offering help and assistance as we are endeavoring to have Amanda travel to the States for specialized treatment.  To all those who have offered help, we from the top of our hearts thank you and we  want you to know that we may have identified a hospital and doctors that are willing to donates their time, services, and facilities to try and help Amanda.  But please hold on as it is not yet definite and we will keep you updated.
Once we have the Stateside arrangements in order, Amanda will then need to apply for a US visa that will allow her to travel for the medical treatment.
We have started a fund raiser to help Amanda with daily expenses and to help with expenses incurred by her host family, where she will stay while not in the hospital.  We as well have asked Morgan, our daughter, who is a ER nurse in Florida to come to Haiti and escort Amanda to the States.  Morgan, apart from being a nurse, speaks Haitian Creole fluently and would be a person of comfort to Amanda who will be experiencing a lot of new stuff, starting with getting on an airplane.
We will still have to work out flight arrangements and other details and very much ask for your prayers as we fight for Amanda. Thank you for your support and you can click here to donate toward helping Amanda.

SAVING AMANDA

Today we make a heartfelt
appeal on behalf of a precious young lady who has become special to us
and for whom our hearts grieve. 
Please, take time to share this
e-letter with others who may know others who may know others that can
help Amanda.
Our hearts and prayers cry out for this young lady and
we need your help as the medical care that she needs is quite special
and so we are compelled to fight for her future.  Please join us in
Amanda’s corner and help us find medical professionals and hospitals 
and supportive families that will make Amanda’s fight their fight.

John
McHoul
In Haiti in
Amanda’s Corner.

 


AMANDA WITH BRIAN THE PT GUY

Amanda is a 22 year old young
woman living at the Heartline Field Hospital, who was crushed when her
neighbor’s house collapsed into hers in the Haiti earthquake on 12
January 2010.  She has multiple injuries, including a
severe nerve injury (brachial plexus injury), which causes her to live
in incapacitating pain.  There are no specialists in Haiti
who can perform this repair.  We are seeking help to get Amanda to the United States (or
elsewhere) to a neurosurgeon/ brachial plexus specialist, in a last hope
effort to resolve this young woman’s incapacitating pain.
 
We are asking that our readers/supporters use their personal
connections to help us find Amanda a neurosurgeon
that specializes in brachial plexus repair.  If you
know any orthopedists or neurosurgeons, please share Amanda’s story
with them, and see if they know anyone who might be able to help Amanda.
 We are asking that the surgeon and treating hospital
donate their services.  If and when a surgical team is
identified, we will also need financial donations to pay for Amanda’s
medevac to the United States, and her room and board while she is there. 
Amanda has a passport, which will facilitate her travel out of
the country.

Here is Amanda’s story:

On the evening of 12 January 2010,
young Amanda was standing in her mother’s house outside of Port au
Prince.  When the earthquake hit, her neighbor’s house came
crashing down into her own, trapping Amanda under its crushing weight. 
Her neighbor – Amanda’s best  friend – was killed
instantaneously.  Earthquake survivors describe the shaking
and grinding of the earth on that day as horrific and surreal; many
believed the world was coming to an end.  In the minutes
after the large quake, neighborhoods were filled with the sounds of
screaming people – some crying out in pain, others calling desperately
for their crushed loved ones.  The sound of screaming
echoed eerily and
incessantly into the dark night, through the near and distant
neighborhoods; it could apparently be heard for miles.  One
of every ten residents of Port au Prince and the outlying communities
was killed on that day, in the earthquake that lasted less than one
minute.

Amanda’s screams of pain were
heard by neighbors, who worked aggressively through severe aftershocks
to free her from the concrete and rebar rubble which pinned her.  When
she was finally rescued, it was evident that her life was in danger. 
Her left arm and her left femur were crushed – both exquisitely
painful, with large open wounds; the latter – her deformed femur — a
life threatening injury.  In the United States, such severe
injuries would get Amanda life-flighted by helicopter to the nearest
trauma center for emergency surgery.  In Haiti in the week
following the earthquake, Amanda was one of more than 100,000 severely
injured individuals desperate – and unable – to find care. 

Imagine if this were your
daughter, your sister, or your friend.  And you were
desperately trying to find her care.   You drive first to
your local hospital – which is absolutely overwhelmed.  She
is there for two days, and receives an IV, but no pain medications and
no orthopedic care.  She is in agony, with a deformed femur
and an open fracture of her arm.  You become desperate;
you decide to drive her to the city. Certainly there, at the big
hospitals, she will receive help.  But many of the big
hospitals, you soon discover, to your horror, have been destroyed. 
You find one – hospital number two – and take her there.  After
a day, she
again receives no care.  You drag her unsplinted, broken
form in search of a rumored orthopedic field hospital.  You
cannot find it, so you sleep with her in the streets, cradling her
crying form through the night in your arms.  In the
morning, you take her to hospital number three.  No care. 
You search again for the rumored field hospital and finally move
her again – still unsplinted, still without pain medication, to
hospital number four.  There, she is loaded into a truck
and convoyed across the countryside – still without pain medication and
still unsplinted, every jolt on the country highway causing exquisite
bone on bone grinding – to the Dominican Republic, the country east of
Haiti, to hospital number five.   There she finally sees an
orthopedist, who places a metallic external fixator into the shattered
bones of
her left femur and a metal rod to stabilize the open fracture of her
upper left arm.  There they discover that her left arm is
paralyzed, yet in the cruel irony that is severe nerve injury, her arm
is not numb, but instead burning with severe, intractable nerve pain.  
She develops an infection at the surgical site of her left arm. 
You meet a representative of another field hospital located back
in Haiti, that has orthopedists and plastic surgeons, and can manage
her open wounds and infections.  So, you truck her once
again over the counon management and rehabilitation.   At
Heartline, it bec
tryside, back to Port au Prince,
the city from which you started, to hospital number six — Merlin Field
Hospital.  There, in a series of canvas tents on an old
tennis court, European physicians place skin grafts over her open
wounds of her left leg, and further manage her infection.   You
discover that they, too, are overwhelmed with patients, and recommend
transferring her to hospital number seven – Heartline Field Hospital –
for pain and infecti
ons obvious that the nerve
pain in her arm is severe and unremitting; so she is transferred
temporarily to Miami Field Hospital – hospital number eight — where an
anesthesiologist places a temporary catheter into her chest through
which pain medication can be infused to blunt the nerve pain in her now
non-functional left arm.   This is a time intensive
infusion, done over 30 minutes three times a day.   She is
then transferred back to Heartline for regular care and rehab; there,
her pain management catheter is found to be ineffective.  Her
unremitting pain continues.  Imagine this is your sister,
your
daughter, your friend.  The agony of her journey.  The
agony of months of intractable pain.  The overwhelming
hopelessness.

While Amanda’s femur is slowly
healing, her arm pain remains severe.  The unfair irony of
Amanda’s arm injury — a probable stretch or tear of the brachial plexus
— is that although the nerves to her arm now fail to function, and it
hangs limp and unusable at her side, she is plagued not with a numb arm,
but with severe, incessant pain.   Nerve pain.  Imagine
the worst ice cream headache of your life.  Or the worst
sciatica of your life.  Imagine the pain you get when the
dentist pokes his metal hook right into that sensitive part of your
tooth.  Fiery, electrical, intolerable pain.  That
is nerve pain.  Now, imagine living with that
constant pain, with no hope for relief.  This is Amanda’s
burden.   Some have proposed an amputation of
her arm.  The problem with this solution is the arm can be
removed, but the nerve pain — coming from higher up, near her neck —
will persist.  After such disfiguring surgery, she would
still feel severe, phantom pain into the tips of her fingers — even if
her arm were no longer there.

There is a possible surgical
intervention for Amanda.  But there is no one in Haiti who
can perform it.  There are a few specialists in the United
States who can.    But the clock is ticking.  The
farther she gets from the injury, the less likely the injury can be
successfully repaired.  And the more likely this young 20
year old woman will live with ongoing, devastating pain.    As
one orthopod bluntly put it, "This injury will not kill her.  But
suicide, from the ongoing, unremitting pain, could."

Please help Amanda.   We
need to find her a surgeon.  And we need the funding to
get her to the United States, and support her while she is there.

If you can help in any way – be it
a donation, an offer of housing or transportation, or a medical
contact, please contact Heartline Ministries at helphaitiamanda@yahoo.com. 
Together, we believe the Heartline Field Hospital community can
come together to find Amanda a final solution – at hospital number nine. 
We will keep you informed of our progress to find Amanda care.

Please forward this request on to
anyone you feel might help with Amanda’s case.

 

From:  Heartline
Field Hospital, Heartline Ministries, Port au Prince, Haiti

        

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