Tuesday, February 23, 2010

'This quake and mission has become part of my history.'

Charlotte pre-med student Sabrina Joline said she was scared and unsure when she returned to her earthquake devastated nation. But she was inspired by the strength and spirit of her patients. Here are excerpts from our conversation:
Why are you here?
I am from Haiti, and my people needed help. My colleagues needed help and my family needed help.
Tell me about what you’re doing?
I have served as a childcare specialist with Ashlyn, a physical therapist with Fabbien, a nurse, and mostly a translator. I will be learning physical therapy exercises for children with Fabbien and Ashlyn.
Is there one patient who impacted you the most?
It’s hard to just mention one patient because all of them had an impact on me. Jenson, a 13-month-old with hydrocephallis child, taught me how to truly nurture and unhealthy baby. Sandia, 3, and Yvlene, 3, who have broken legs, taught me how to laugh even in the worst situations. And this list goes on.
How do you hope to help them?
I hope I can keep their spirits up and take their minds off their situation. Also some people at home are willing to adopt an entire family, so maybe we can get some of these patients adopted and taken care of.
What inspires you?
The spirit of my people. From an outsider looking in, it seems as the ones who are in distress are the doctors and nurses. The patients are strong, courageous and appreciative. They inspire me.
What frustrates you?
Not being able to do more.
The needs are so great. Do you feel you can really make a difference?
A little goes a long way. Just by translating, changing dress wounds and feeding the patients, I’m able to allow the doctors and nurses to relieve some stress. By doing that, they can be more productive.
What will you remember most?
Fortunately and unfortunately, everything
What will you try to forget?
Nothing, this quake and mission has become part of my history.

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