Saturday in Haiti – In the Field

Good Morning from Port-au-Prince . . .

Thanks for all your prayers, positive thoughts, and donations . . . it’s nice to know what having friends is all about. You’re pulling through for me, helping me get this work in high gear so the good people of Haiti can take another step in putting their lives back together.

I had a much better night last night, was able to find a place to sleep that had an actual pillow. Mosquitos have been pretty aggressive, but the current events make the possibility of malaria not much of a worry for me. Brushed my teeth, and ditched the Hi-Karate for Attitude . . . will be bringing a whole lot of that with me today.

The views during the car ride in were really moving. The devastation is everywhere, and it’s mind blowing. Maybe we sometimes fall into the notion that we can guide our own lives, our world, our destiny, but there’s nothing like a natural disaster to remind us how little control we really have.

Yesterday, we were able to take care of many fractures and perform wound care, but we’re desperate for sterile surgical supplies. If I can secure a consistent supply of sterile gowns, drapes, and case packs, we’ve got enough orthopedic surgeons coming in to run three OR shifts around the clock. It’s incredibly frustrating to have the team in place, but with a tremendous lack of materials, and an enormous patient load.

Our paramilitary team is out in the field identifying injured Haitians, especially those requiring orthopedic treatment, and I’ll be heading out to take care of them as best I can.

We just delivered a severe burn victim to the USS Comfort for treatment. We’ve also lined up two pelvic fractures to be air-lifted out, but for every success, there are at least two tragedies.

I was shocked to find two patients with spinal fractures and associated spinal cord injuries. One is now quadriplegic with a fracture at the C5 level, and another is paraplegic with a fracture at T7. I’ve made these two patients my personal mission. They’ve been on their backs from the time of the index earthquake last week until I found them just yesterday. Every day surgical management is delayed, their chance of survival worsens. They absolutely must be airlifted to a regional spinal cord injury center . . . and I’m mean fast . . . the quicker the better.

I will be reaching out to media via e-mail, since I’m still unable to call Chicago, but I’m hoping and praying they can help facilitate the transfer of these two patients, who are in such desperate need. My preference is to get them connected to the facility where I was trained in the management of spinal cord injury, the Midwest Regional Spinal Cord Injury Care System (MRSCICS) at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC).

I’m in contact with the folks from United Airlines and I’m ready to personally deliver these patients back to Chicago, but I’ll need a tremendous amount of help coordinating the transfer.

Keep those donations coming. We need you. All of you!

Peace Out!

Dr. Dan Ivankovich (@ReverendDoctorD)

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