After the quake: Trip #2

As soon as we returned to Michigan, we set up the next trips. Nichol Krupp, professional photographer with a degree in social work, had been “called” to Haiti. She vowed to “kidnap” John Tully and take his place on our first flight, but resolved herself to the second trip. She and her friend Suzanne Billette, a teacher, flew into Texas expecting to take a morning flight into PAP. That never happened, but after days of waiting and multiple emails, they were given the opportunity to work with Medishare despite the fact that neither of them had traditional medical care experience. At the last minute, there was a conversation on that plane with Kate Cardinali and then with Dree. Medishare needed neonatal personnel and Suzanne had had triplets in the neonatal unit. I was certain that Suzanne was destined to go to help with the neonates. In addition to the neonatal and pediatrics assistance, they ultimately triaged patients in the outpatient ER facility. My brother Gordie Stryker, a Midland attorney decided to join us “in the fray”, ultimately being responsible for logistics at the Medishare facility for two weeks during our second mission trip. When my brother picked me up at the airport, he said there was a woman in active labor and they were anxiously awaiting my arrival. I changed in the car into my scrubs on the way from the airport, which must have been an interesting experience for the Haitian driver. Moments later in the makeshift OB tent I delivered my first baby in Haiti. It was beautiful. The couple was so mesmerizing. They had no house or clothes. They had no money, but they had a beautiful healthy baby and a beautiful healthy mother. Breast-feeding is a neurosis for Haitian women. They know that successful lactation is the lifeline for their children. We started treating the obstetrics patients during that trip and met many wonderful healthcare providers, eager to help the Haitian people. Dr. Rob McKersie, a family practice doctor who does most of his mission work in Nepal and Rhianna, an Air Force fighter pilot-pharmacist hybrid who helped us organize the pharmacy at the school clinic were people with whom we will likely work on future projects. By this visit, it was evident that the finishing touches were being put on the mayor’s mansion on his plot of land, but absolutely no progress was being made in the streets of PAP. The sheer hypocrisy of that situation was difficult to swallow. See photos of the second trip, by Nichol Krupp, in the second photo web gallery.