Hello again. It is almost time for me to leave for Haiti on another exciting medical mission. This is my ninth trip with The Friends of the Children of Haiti. I am almost all packed and ready to go. We have gathered all of the supplies, medications, baby formula, children’s vitamins, some nutritional supplements, and other assorted odds and ends. We have them packed in bags and totes and each one weighs around 50 lbs. Members of the team will transport them as checked baggage on the airplane.
This mission team is made up of members from Washington State, Minnesota, Illinois, and Ohio. Here is a list:
Team Leader: Lynn Garber RN, Washington State Experienced
Assistant team leader: Katie Koehler RN, Illinois Experienced
Assistant team leader: Laurie Tinker RN, Washington State Experienced
Maureen Barta RN, Washington State Experienced
Ron Bush MD, Ohio on his second FOTCOH mission (January 2009)
Laurie (Mickey) Byrne RN, Washington State First FOTCOH mission
Jaime Cercone MD, Illinois First FOTCOH mission
Zechariah Crutchfield, Washington State First FOTCOH mission non medical
Linda Damery RN, Illinois Experienced
Peggy Grebstad RN, Washington State First FOTCOH Mission First mission
JoAnna Forwell Nd, Washington State First FOTCOH Mission
Tracy Higdon, Washington State Washington State First FOTCOH Mission
Marlena Marie RN, Washington State Her second FOTCH trip (September 2008)
Nancy Holly Melroe RN, Minnesota First FOTCOH Mission
Ed Monroe R.PH, Illinois FOTCOH Mission
Barb Smith RN, Washington State First FOTCOH Mission
Margo Spence RN, Washington State First FOTCOH Mission
This team has endured In spite of the many road blocks that were encountered. Late last fall, Maureen’s husband expired after a long battle with cancer. Earlier this year, Lynn Garber’s husbands passed away from a liver problem. We had a physician for the team, then lost a physician, then gained a physician and now I believe that we are stabilized. We have a physician from Ohio who has worked in our clinic once at last months’ clinic. I am working part time due to his family’s plans. The team was also short of funds needed to purchase the medications’ and supplies but a very generously sponsor agreed to cover the approximately $ 20,000.00 that the clinic costs which is over and above the proximately $12,500 that is paid for by the team member. Each team member from Illinois and the one from Ohio will be carrying down with them as checked baggage.
Some of this could have been avoided but the medications were late getting here as I was out of touch while flying in an airplane.
There are likely some more stories I could tell but I will try to bring some joy into future blogs as I intend to tease the team. As you can see we have only two non medical members. Also we have 9 first timers and 2 second timers so this year should be interesting.
I am travelling ahead of the team in order to try a new experiment. I plan to provide refill medications for 150 patients prior to the full clinic. This is being done so that the medical providers will not be bogged down with refill only patients and can spend more time treating the sicker patient population. This team will also be the first to view the results of the Medika Mamba nutritional supplement on the failure to thrive infants that were started on the program in January. Early reports indicate that the supplement is doing as expected and the babies are gaining weight. We hope that we can obtain additional donations of money in order to expand that program to more of the starving Haitian children. The product is made in Cap Haitian and it could be made in Cyvadier if we are able to grow the program here at FOTCOH. Medika Mamba is a product that contains peanut butter, powdered milk, vegetable oil, and vitamins. I will have more information to pass along in the next few days about Medika Mamba.
The January team reported that many of the Haitians complained of food shortages. I expect that we will encounter even more hunger as I understand that food prices are extremely high and the price of gasoline has risen even higher than it was last year.