Thursday, February 18, 2010

'Most have lost a leg or an arm'

A Charlotte relief worker writes in her journal about her first visit to a Haitian hospital treating earthquake evacuees and the children she met.

I asked if any of the team members were keeping a journal. Ashlyn Armistead, who works at Presbyterian Hospital helping children prepare for traumatic medical procedures, said she is and gave me the OK to print what she wrote.

Here is an expert about the group's visit to Sacre-Coeur Hospital in Milot, a 65-bed facility serving more than 250 earthquake evacuees:

Milot was about an hour away. I cannot believe the condition the roads are in here. It takes forever to get anywhere because of how slow you have to drive through all the sink holes. We passed one poor family after another. One of our people threw pencils and crayons out the window for a few kids and you would’ve thought it was a million dollars! Then more kids ran after our bus – it was heart breaking…

The staff at Milot were so happy to see us. They didn’t believe that a team our size would be coming to help. We toured the facility and had a debriefing on the previous weeks. There were so many people there – men, women, children.

Across from the hospital were tents that were an extension of the hospital. It looked like a tent city with cots, people sleeping on the floor and families living outside of the tents.

On our tour, I saw where I would be working – the pediatric tent. I met the doctors and nurses and they were happy to see me. A few even knew about child life! I even met some of the kids. Most have lost a leg or an arm. They were so cute but so sad. I am excited to get started tomorrow.

9 comments:

Danielle said...

I work w/ Ashlyn and she is such a great person - I know she is doing an amazing job for the Haitian children just like she does at Presby ....

Caleb said...

Ashlyn is my cousin, and she has helped me through many things in my life. I am so proud of her and know that she is doing an awesome job in Haiti. I am praying so hard God uses her team to help the people there. God Bless

Edna said...

Hi, I am Ashlyn's Mom. I am so very proud of her and the group of people that went on this trip. Our thoughts and prayers are with them and with the people of Haiti.We wish them all a safe journey.Love you guys.

Anonymous said...

Franco, thanks for bringing these sights and voices home for us. Too often I read comments of those who curse darkness, or even the fear of darkness. Ashlyn shows us that the truly courageous light candles.

Hillary said...

Hi my name is Hillary and I am blessed to call Ashlyn one of my dearest friends since the 7th grade. It does not surprise me at all that Ashlyn has taken this great opportunity and challenge head on. For those of you who don’t know her she is the epitome of humble and courageous. She has the willingness to help others even in her day to day activities. Her energy is contagious and I have no doubt it is bringing many smiles to the children of Haiti. I am so proud of Ashlyn and the team of nurses and doctors that have volunteered their time and efforts to this great cause. I pray that they are safe and that their talents and efforts bring hope and happiness to the people of Haiti.

Trey said...

Ashlyn - I am very humbled by the dedication, sacrifice and courage you've shown to help those in need. We are all very proud of you. Stay focused and keep making a difference. I love you.

Trey

nana said...

Some of us Pray and support from a distance. Thank God there are those who are willing to get up close and personal in a time and place of disaster. Thank You Ashlyn for being one of those Special people. I knew from day one you were born to be special. May God's goodness and protection be with you always.

Love Forever,
Nana

Karen said...

I know that Ashlyn is making a difference for all of the children she has come in contact with during this curagious journey! Needless to say, I am very proud of her choice to help the children in Haiti. She went to Haiti, a special person, she will return home even that much more...
I love you, Girl!!!
Boo Boo

Leslie said...

I am very proud to call Ashlyn one of my best friends. I am so proud of her for going on this trip. She is such a great person always helping wherever she can. My thoughts and prayers are with all that went on this trip to Haiti. I wish them a safe journey and God Bless you all! Thanks for all the post, it really helps us so informed!