"I don't know what your destiny will be, but one thing I know: the only ones among you
who will be really happy are those who will have sought and found how to serve" Albert Schweitzer

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

It's Not Too Late...

to donate to the Hopital Adventiste Ortho Project and still claim a deduction on your 2010 Income Tax Return! We're all bombarded with pleas for financial assistance this time of year but I cannot think of a purer philanthropic endeavor as 100% of your tax-deductable donation will go directly to patient care...no administrative fees whatsoever.  In addition, I've never met anyone who can stretch a buck further than Scott or the Dietrichs.
Earlier this month I had the opportunity to serve 10 days with Scott Nelson and Terry and Jeannie Dietrich at Hopital Adventiste d'Haiti.  You can read about the trip on this blog as well as the Orthopedic Ministries of the Caribbean website.
Jeannie and Terry Dietrich
For those of you who are not familiar with the Dietrichs, Terry and Jeannie recently put a lucrative orthopaedic practice on ice (literally, they are from Wisconsin) for 12 months.  They have dedicated a year of their lives (without financial remuneration) to not only maintain the gains made by Scott Nelson and short-term volunteers since the Big Quake but are attempting to create a viable musculoskeletal program that can be self-supporting for years to come.
Jeannie cleans and organizes equipment, preps patients, and first assists...even more impressive considering she sustained a bad fracture/dislocation of her shoulder 3 wks prior to this photo being taken 
The following is an additional update written by Terry Dietrich shortly after leaving Haiti a few days ago:

The work that was started at HAH in the days and weeks after Jan 12 by Dr Nelson is of inestimable value to the Haitian people. They have never had a comprehensive orthopedic program available in the past.  Now they have at their disposal (especially the indigent patients) expert care that can address generations of neglected and untreated musculoskeletal conditions such as limb anomalies like clubfeet, spine deformities, acute trauma, tumors and infections. From what I have been able to see during the total of seven weeks that I have been involved at HAH, is that it has become one of the few bright spots in an otherwise largely dismal picture of what has happened (or more correctly, NOT happened) in Port-au-Prince since the Big Quake on January 12.  God has certainly worked strongly through Dr Nelson and the hundreds of volunteers at HAH to not only help the Haitians directly injured during the earthquake but hundreds of others such as Staille and the 37y/o lady who came to HAH one week ago yesterday with an unstable pelvic fracture. She had been initially evaluated at Medecins Sans Frontieres and told she would need to be at bed rest for at least 3 months. She was returning to Florida to be with her husband in West Palm Beach, one of the most affluent communities in Florida prior to her injury. Dr Nelson and I finished surgically stabilizing her pelvis at 4am and then cleaned the instruments and restocked the trays so they could be properly sterilized and ready for the next time needed. That work was finished at 5am. We left the hospital 30 minutes later for the airport to return to the United States and Dominican Republic respectively. This was just 36 hours after Dr Nelson had been hand delivered a letter absolving HAH and sponsoring entities of any responsibility for any anything that might happen to him during his continued stay in Haiti. He had decided to stay at HAH to provide ongoing urgent care for patients that still required his expertise for 2 more days after all the expatriates had been ordered to evacuate Haiti. Those extra two days that I was able to have with Dr Nelson were a gift from God. It helped me greatly to be able to finalize several aspects of patient care that I can now be better able to manage.

Dr Dietrich is hoping to establish elective Sports Medicine and Total Joint Arthoplasty programs at HAH to supplement income for indigent patients.  Donations of functioning Linvatec arthroscopic gear welcomed.
Some of the more pressing needs are as follows:
  • Travel expenses for OEC tech to recalibrate C-arm damaged during power fluctuations - ($1,000)
  • Funding for Vieja (Dominican OR nurse, worth her weight in gold) to return for 4 1-week reorganization stints - ($3,000)
  • Set of reusable, heavy-duty cloth surgical gowns - ($5000)
  • Doubling of inverter capacity to protect electronics against power fluctuations - ($6,000)
  • Funding for Ortho Technician training program - ($10,000)
  • Funding for Haitian anesthesiologist to commit to at least 2 full days a week - ($1,000/month)
  • Second OEC 9600 C-arm as this would enable the team to perform simultaneous cases that require imaging as well as serve as a backup - ($50,000)
  • Renovating the Operating Theatre (creating additional room, enlarging existing rooms - ($100,000)
  • Indigent patient fund (presently care is free but in order for the hospital to survive, this policy will be forced to change sooner rather than later) - ($$$$$)
If you're inclined to contribute, simply click here and under the Comments section write "HAH Ortho" and/or any other specific instructions you desire. 

Thanks for the continued support of your thoughts and prayers.  Not only are your fiscal contributions greatly appreciated, but there exists an ongoing critical need for short-term volunteers, especially surgeons, anesthesiologists, and nurses.  Feel free to contact Terry and Jeannie directly at tj.dietrich99@gmail.com for more information.

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