Hurricane Matthew brutalized Haiti with 145 mph winds and 175 mph gusts leaving streets indistinguishable from rivers and landscapes swept into garish new designs. Houses broke apart and took flight like a flock of kites. Residents in many communities waded through 3 feet and more of dirty flood waters, their lives, homes, crops, livestock and dreams washed away in terrifying minutes. The strongest storm to make landfall in Haiti since 1964 arrived with a vengeance and left deadly footprints across the poorest country in the western hemisphere.
Hôpital Sacré-Coeur Races into Action
Hôpital Sacré-Coeur in Milot mercifully survived in fine form, well positioned to be a blessing to the region and nation as it plunges in to provide the medical and other care needed to a beleaguered populous. The gratitude of the staff is palpable and their commitment to be an inspiring and effective part of the solution to this hellacious natural disaster fuels the esprit de cours so common to this premiere northern medical center.
What it Takes to be a Blessing…
At Holy Name Medical Center headquarters, a 1,500 miles to the north in Teaneck, New Jersey, medical supplies, food and personal care items are being purchased, thanks to the generosity of compassionate donors, and loaded onto a container to be rushed to Milot so stocks can be quickly replenished and food and other essential items can be distributed to hurricane victims.
Cholera, already at a crisis level before the storm struck, will rise in the days and weeks ahead. More dehydration sources, IV fluids and antibiotics are called for in order to effectively treat the expected increase in cholera patients. Large numbers of crops and livestock have been destroyed erasing food stocks and putting a halt to food production. The number of malnourished people — particularly children — will soar. Damaged roads and washed out bridges have crippled supply chains and recovery will likely take months.
You Are a Greatly Appreciated and Critical Part of the Solution
At CRUDEM/Hôpital Sacré-Coeur we have never shied away from a challenge no matter how daunting. We roll up our shirt sleeves (and in this case, pull on our galoshes) and get to work. Having been in Haiti since 1968 — nearly 50 years — we know the landscape of efficient, effective and positive impact. We know what needs doing and how to proceed to insure the best outcomes.
Right now, we need to increase supply purchases to care for our sisters and brothers in Haiti. And, continue to operate a fully packed 125-bed medical center. Appendicitis and babies do not forestall their arrivals because of a hurricane.
Please make a donation today. 100% of your donation will go to provide patients and the community with the care they need.
David G. Butler, M.D.