Day 4: Just When You Think It’s Getting Better


Hard day. I fought like hell today to get two particular patients transferred out to military hospitals. They were on the verge of death. I got them out after a shitload of heavy work.

One was a very small and very sick 7 year old boy. I took a personal interest in him and helped to load him into the truck which we arranged to evacuate him. He was so scared. The fear was emanating from his eyes. All i wanted to do was tell him we were doing all we could to make him better. I held his tiny hand and as my translator was helping load another patient, all I could do was use non verbal communications to ease him. As the truck drove off, I lost it. It’s only the second time I broke down, but it was a big one. I felt better afterward, but emotionally drained. Transferred another 4 very sick patients out, including 3 to the USS Comfort. Everyone pitched in to work the system to make it happen. What a team effort to pull the right strings. Things were stabilized as we ended our day, despite the strong aftershock

Then as we were leaving, a father came running into the hospital carrying his 4 year old nephew. His head was bandaged, his shirt soaked wet with blood. Turns out that there was a food distribution near the hospital and a riot broke out. Rocks and bricks were thrown and one hit him in the side of his head. Again, I held his hand and asked my translator to tell him we were going to help him. We also did the same with his family, all of whom hovered around the bed and cried as the little boy wailed. The sounds were hard to handle. His wound not so bad. The docs sewed him up and they went away happy, the entire family thanking and hugging the team as they left.

I do believe that life’s priorities are shifting for me. I am running a surgical hospital in the midst of a war zone. Ive never run a hospital or been in a war. SO why not check both off at the same time? I reflected last night that I am NOT sweating the small stuff. If I did I would not make it or the people around me would be really miserable. I hope I can carry this part of Haiti home with me.


5 Responses to “Day 4: Just When You Think It’s Getting Better”

  1. Cassie Sauer Says:

    We want more blog posts!

    Hope you are okay. Cassie

  2. Mike and Diane Says:

    Andy – Mike and I are very proud of you! Please know that the positive attitude and hard work of you and your team is appreciated greatly. Keep fighting the good fight! Love Diane and Mike

  3. Kim Lamb Says:

    Hey Andy,
    At 7:15 am every day since you left – reiki is headed your way. Amazing, heart-breaking and lifting stories. It is through tragedies like these that I never cease to be amazed by the human spirit and its ability to not only survive (which is huge in and of itself) – but to eventually thrive.

    The world is watching and hopefully learning from and taking away your new found ability to “not sweat the small stuff.” Please tell those you serve and serve with – that they’re not alone. The world loves, cares and hurts with them.

  4. Cassie Sauer Says:

    Andy, Thank you so much for your blog posts. I am so glad you are there, and so proud of the work you are doing. We are raising a lot of money here to make sure we can keep funding this effort.

    You are in our thoughts every day. Take good care of yourself. Cassie Sauer, WSHA

  5. Bonnie Olson Says:

    Just to let you know you are prayed for each day along with all those you work with. I believe we are on the earth to reach out and help one another. You will find so many blessings among the sadness. Thank you from Tigard, Oregon. You are appreciated.

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