Thursday, March 18, 2010

2:00am, Miami Field Hospital: Take two

Been a bit crazy these past few days and haven't had much time to breathe, let alone write. But I did want to pass on a few thanks...

Thanks to those of you who wrote to say they are contacting their political representatives to encourage better management/utilization of disaster aid resources here in Haiti. Continually bringing attention back to this disaster is one powerful way to promote change. If you are fortunate to have a political voice, those who don't will benefit from yours.

I, ironically, don't have a voice today. Lost it to laryngitis a night ago. Is this some sort of cosmic metaphor?

Perhaps it was all the screaming in the car. I learned that it's not a good idea for a dog to be sleeping in a little dog-circle in the middle of the road at 2:00am when Beth, our midwife, is driving a laboring mom requiring a stat c-section across Port au Prince in search of a surgeon...after the OB/Gyn at the local Haitian hospital came out to say, "I would do the c-section now, as the baby is dying, but we only have one OR and it's currently being used."

We'd looked at each other in that moment and said, "Miami Field Hospital."

Of course, you know the history of us and Miami Field Hospital at 2:00am. So, you can understand why those words were followed by words such as, "@!#$)!" (My word.) And, "Let's go, let's go!" And, "This time, we're going to just drive right thought that gate, whether it's open or not." Oh, yes, and "Get out of the way, you damned dog!!!"

Perhaps it was partially the actions of all of you readers, but this time, when I jumped out of the car at Miami's locked wooden gate, a number of hair-raising minutes later, screaming "Emergency!! Emergency!!" in the dark of the 2:00 night, the guard appeared and immediately opened the belligerance, no flashing of guns, no political negotiations, no need for Beth to pull the old Duke's of Hazard power-over-the-fence stunt. Just an unquestioning swinging open of the gate. (Wow.)

Within minutes, our patient was in the hands of an OB/GYN surgeon, who immediately took momma into surgery, and delivered a healthy baby boy. Initial APGARS were 4. If you are familiar with that scale, you know that that means baby likely didn't have a lot longer in his mom's belly before this story would have had a very tragic ending.

In return for their surgical support, the Miami Hopital team traded us two actively laboring patients.

"If you can take these ladies off of our hands, we'll do your c-section."

Quite the trade. Beth didn't blink an eye.

Thank God for coffee. And beautiful, talented, don't-take-no-for-an-answer midwives. And volunteer surgeons. And readers who take political action...

Because of you, there are three new healthy Haitian babies in the world today.

Keep these babies in your thoughts. Because they are part of the future of this nation. And they'll need your continued attention and advocacy to have a better life.

Oh, yeah, and the dog...he's okay, too. Probably because midwife Beth learned how to drive in Boston.

The other Boston.


  1. Praise the Lord that the Miami Field Hospital is once again available for emergency cases! I hope and pray that will continue!

  2. Yeah. Like some of your other readers, I wrote to Clinton and Penn. Maybe, somehow, it helped.


  3. What amazing things you are doing. I thank God for people like you, who are out there in the nitty girtty of this terrible earthquake tragedy, making a difference to so many! Blessings, prayers and admiration to you!

  4. So great to get your updates Barbie--thanks for taking the time to write! Our hearts are still in Haiti with you. Hope you get your (other) voice back soon...