Friday, February 19, 2010

'Please help me. Don't leave me. Will you come back?'

Dr. Sherma Morton says the post-traumatic stress many Haitians are suffering may be worse than their lost limbs.

The OB/GYN from the Carolinas Medical Center-Pineville has been struck by the mass of emotional injuries she’s seen here at Sacre-Coeur, this northern Haiti hospital, treating more than 250 earthquake evacuees.

Working in a tent with more than 30 female victims, Morton says she’s giving out Prozac because there are so many depressed patients. They spend their days staring at the walls, she said. They don’t want to get out of bed. They don’t eat.

“I literally fed a woman her food today,” she said. “I put it in her mouth.”

Morton, whose family is from Haiti and who speaks Creole, says many of the women just need someone to listen.

They cry out to her: "Please help me. Don't leave me. Will you come back?"

Every night, Morton writes about the experience to family and friends. Here is a little of what she’s told them.

“I have seen so many unimaginable tragedies. This earthquake has spared no one. And now there is soo much that is still needed. God help Haiti.”

“I was able to go back to General surgery and medicine today. It was really gratifying to touch these lives. A school recently collapsed and 4 children were killed and many wounded. Ages 9-12. That is not the way their lives should have ended. They barely had a chance to live. So sad.”

“I found out today that the post-traumatic stress that Haitians are suffering may even be worse than their lost limbs in the earthquake. We can't turn out the lights at night in their outside tents because they start having flashbacks of being trapped when the world fell upon them. The cries of grown men mixed with the screams of children are a few of the things I will never forget.


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Lisa Damien said...

I'm glad that Dr. Morton was able to help. I'm also glad that the situation in Haiti received so much media attention. This is an area of the world that people seemed to have forgotten until this disaster happened. Thank goodness for the giving hearts of people like Dr. Morton.

Traveler said...

The works that Dr. Morton and her group are doing are monumental even when monumental doesn't even seem to be enough. Thanks for not letting us forget Haiti.