Sunday, February 21, 2010
This first little guy had a rough first week with us. He has a femur fracture and his whole leg is in a cast. One night, he started saying there were bugs under his cast. Within a few minutes, he was screaming and was inconsolable and had to be held down by many people and given some sedative medications so his cast could be cut off. Our orthopedic physician assistant Kevin put on a new cast, and then "bi-valved" it (cut all the way down both sides) so that the cast could be removed if he got scared again. Kevin then wrapped the whole bi-valved cast in Ace wraps to keep it in place. This whole arrangement worked out really well. Over the coming days, this little guy would ask to have his cast removed once or twice a day. We would put him on a bed or table, carefully removed the cast, and let him gently touch his leg, apply lotion to his leg, and just see that everything was okay.
In the meantime, several people were working on finding his dad. Lisa Hojara took him out into Port au Prince to see if he would recognize anything. Eventually, Lisa and Ryan, one of our nurses, took him to one of the Haitian TV stations. They interviewed him and aired the interview that night. The next day, his dad walked into Heartline Hospital. The smile on this boy's face was indescribable. His dad's smile was just as wide. Dad told me he hadn't seen his son in about a month. Watching dad interact with his son was very very cool.
The second child reunited with her family is a 9 year old girl with a severe pelvis fracture. Her dad was with her during her first days on the ship, but he then needed to leave and go back to work. He hadn't been back to the ship since that time. She hadn't seen her dad in several weeks, and hadn't seen her mom for longer than that. She is from an area about a 3 hour drive from Port au Prince. We didn't have phone numbers for anyone in the family, but we did have names and addresses. We were planning to wait a week to see if her dad came to see her, and if not, we were going to try to find her family.
Because of the severity of her fracture, this little gal needs to be "non weight bearing" (she's not allowed to walk) for the next couple weeks so her pelvis can heal. She's got a ton of energy and wants to walk very badly...we are constantly reminding her to stay in her bed!!
A few days ago, as I walked through the hospital, this little gal called over to me repeatedly, trying to get my attention. I was busy so it took me awhile to get to her. Once I got there, she gave me a huge smile and said "This is my mom!!" Her mom had gone to the onshore contact place for the Comfort looking for her daughter, and they'd directed her to us. Another very happy reunion.