Let’s talk about the first big item on the agenda for 2013: Team Broken Earth. It’s a non-profit organization made up of Canadian physicians and nurses who travel to Haiti providing medical assistance to people in need. On Tuesday, for the first time, a group from Calgary will go to Haiti to continue the efforts. My husband, Spencer, a senior resident in orthopedic surgery here in Calgary — long-time readers, you know him as “S” — will be part of the team.
He and 21 other healthcare professionals will spend a week in Port-au-Prince where they’ll work long, long hours, and eat and sleep at the hospital, the only major trauma centre in the city. They look after people with acute trauma injuries, as well as people still suffering with injuries related to the Jan. 12, 2010 earthquake. They’ll host daily clinics and help train local medical staff, which is key to making a difference in the long term. Spencer expects the experience to be intense, exhausting, inspiring, educational. We’re busy stockpiling odd things like extra scrubs, hand sanitizers and granola bars (so he can eat on the fly).
Even though three years have passed since the earthquake, life in Haiti remains very difficult. There’s an outbreak of cholera in the country. Access to roads and clean water is limited. Recently, Hurricane Sandy ruined roads and devastated farmlands, further compounding already enormous problems. The hospital itself is short of many things. In a request that makes my heart ache, the hospital asked the Calgary team to bring things like diapers, pediasure and baby wipes.
We can do something to help from here. Send a tweet to Kimberly Carcary at @ruadhgubrathkc to find out what supplies are still needed. More importantly, they’re looking to raise funds to cover the cost of the mission and purchase necessary medical supplies and equipment. If you’d like to contribute, please visit brokenearth.ca and click on the donations link. Make sure to include the name Team Calgary when you donate.
Thanks so much.
PS – You can read more about their mission here.
PPS – Andrew Furey, who started Broken Earth, arrived in Haiti yesterday. Follow his tweets at @fureyandrew and @teambrokenearth!Photo via The Telegram of an earlier Broken Earth trip to Haiti