Sunday, January 17, 2010

The hospital

Update - it appears that the source of the problems was that Serlande's sugar levels had reached a very high point and that she hadn't been monitoring her levels properly.  She was in a great deal of pain, and is still in hospital, but it appears that things are beginning to come under control and that she should be okay.  Thank you all for the tremendous response and prayers on her behalf!

During the day, various team members spent time assisting with watching over her in the hospital.  The following post describes some of Brian Bowers observations which paint a bit of a picture of what that means in Haiti versus in Canada...

As Serlande, the oldest orphan in the orphanage, was admitted to the hospital at 5:30 this morning, we decided that we would do rotations sitting in the hospital with her and the house mother, Cecile.

These are notes from Brian Bowers:

It was my turn this morning to go and sit with Serlande at the hospital. Karen brought me at about 7:45 am for the first couple of hours.  I am trying to process the terrible conditions I was seeing, but I just couldn't fathom it. The only word that describes it is HORRIFIC.  It reminded me of the show M*A*S*H when the triage rooms would be overrun with casualities, but this is real life. The 300 foot hallway was lined with injured people as far as you could see. People laying on makeshift beds of blankets with a family member trying to look after them the best they could (doctors and nurses won't- they only give treatment, nothing else). There wasn't a doctor or nurse to be seen at first, but eventually an American doctor came down the hall and I suppose because I was White, I stood out a bit. He stopped and talked for a minute. He said that he had been up almost non-stop for 5 straight days now and that there was at least 40 surgeries that HAD to happen today, but that he also knew that thery wouldn't. There aren't enough doctors to do them. "We treated over 600 people yesterday. It is absolutely heartbreaking. We will do what we can for your loved one when we can get to her." That was all he could say. Be thankful for our healthcare system. Unfortunately, I was there when a lone nurse, pushing a little cart, started at one end of the hallway and started cleaning the wounded people's cuts. There were major head injuries, cuts, broken limbs everywhere and when she started her duties, the screaming started. The odd thing was that before she started cleaning the wounds, I didn't hear a peep. No complaints, nothing. I was told by the doctor that the Haitian people were the toughst people he had ever seen. They never complain about pain- so you know they were in agony when the screaming started. There was a young girl next to me who had no family member with her, who had a badly injured hand and as they worked on her, she cried.
I couldn't help but think of my own little gitl, Kaitlyn, and wonder what this poor girl was thinking. She was all alone, trying to make sense of all that had happened. We are all trying to do the same thing, I guess. Trying to make sense of it all.


  1. hi brian,this is joey.your a courageous man, just read the posting its all so unbeliveable wish it were a bad dream.wish i had the power to make it all so glad your there with colton.i take comfort in that.were going to keep praying for you all till you get home.your friend joey colquhoun

  2. Brian B. There are no words to even begin to describe what you all are going through. My heart is breaking as I read your heartfelt words. I know your heart and it is as big as all outdoors. Please know that we are praying unceasingling for you all...for your strength to leave Haiti, Karen and the children...for your safety to PAP...for your wait for evacuation...for your safe travel home....for God to continue to have His angels keep a hedge of protection around each of you. Can't wait 'til you are all home for a big hug!! God bless you all. Lots of Love...Cindy Lou Who

  3. what can we say Brian !. We are in our safe little homes and we complain . I do not ever want to experience what you saw . It was bad enough to see the lack of things in Dec when I was there and that was supposed to be a normal day !God be with you .

  4. big hug to you brian.... wish we could bring them home and keep them safe from what will come in months to come.... be safe coming home..all of ya...jen and gerald

    don't know if you can help seen this on a haiti site... From Kareen Charles-Pierre Mathon: As selfish as this seems to me, I have no choice but to beg someone, anyone to please bring some water or food to my 3 Great Aunts in Ruelle Jeanty #22 at the end of the street; last house on the left hand side. Frances, France et Germaine Charles-Pierre. They are all... over 90 and will not be able to stand in line.

    this site has alot of help messages...

  5. brian we are praying for you & sending you a big hug..we love safe.........your girls

  6. karen page&joey haleyJanuary 18, 2010 at 9:26 AM

    Hi Brian,Ben,God Bless all of you for all that you have done & are continuining to do I can't imagine the pain and devestation that you are going through.To see this catastophe on t.v. is one thing but to actually live it ,must seem like a bad scene from a movie.Hope provisions are being sent you way?? We are praying for your safety &the safety of the Hatian people. God Speed!!Praying also for the families here {Kaitlynn,Maria,Linda,Heather}

  7. So glad Serlande is doing better! High blood sugars can make you feel so sick! How old is she? My husband has been diabetic for 20 years and my little boy for almost 3. It is hard to manage in a country where the best insulins, testers and foods are available. I can't imagine dealing with it there.
    Angela Price

  8. Hello Tim

    Thinking of you an your family and team. Here is a note from Karen on our Connection Site.

    The response to our Haitian relief efforts has been both overwhelming and heartening. Thank you for sharing your feedback and your personal connections to the disaster.

    I was inspired to learn about one of Bell Aliant’s own who is in Haiti at this time. Engineering employee, Tim Newell and his family were volunteering at a rural school outside of Port-au-Prince when the earthquake hit. Thankfully, Tim and his family are safe and are now assisting with the relief efforts. Tim’s volunteer team have been helping to bring hundreds of meals, clothes and water to the people in Port-au-Prince. You can read more about Tim’s story at their volunteer team’s blog. We wish Tim and his family a safe return to Canada this week.

    Bell Aliant employee, Mike Laaper, also shared how his two children are involved in a New Brunswick school fundraising campaign for Haiti. It is admirable to watch how quickly youth across the country are mobilizing to help other young people during their greatest time of need.

    As the relief efforts continue over weeks and months ahead, we will update our internal and external sites with links for information, donations and volunteer opportunities.

    At times like this, we all do what we can to help. I am proud of your response and the difference the Bell Aliant team is making to the people of Haiti.


  9. Hi Tim, Heidi & Family,

    We were so relieved to hear you all were unharmed. The world is a better place due to your family's unselfish lifestyle in choosing to continuously help the People of Haiti!

    Save voyage back to Canada!

    Judy Young


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