Dispatch from Pignon

 The following dispatch is from Claude Roge, MD, a pediatric cardiologist at Kaiser Permanente Santa Clara (Calif.) Medical Center.  Dr. Roge is in Haiti at the request of Interplast SouthDr. Roge’s wife, Shelley, relates that they have traveled to Haiti each March since 2005 to provide care in the city of Pignon, Haiti. She forwarded this communication from Dr. Roge that he sent Sunday, Jan. 24.

We boarded a C-130 plane and landed in Port au Prince around Noon. The airport was very congested with military airplanes and helicopters, mainly from the USA, and rescue teams from countries such as Poland, Spain, France, Holland, Turkey, Colombia, etc.

It was easy for us to leave he airport. The complications started with our cargo, three large crates full of medical supplies. We had to wait all afternoon to be moved from one corner of the airport to an other corner. When it was finally moved, it was placed in the FEMA section. The officers were kind enough to let us take our supply. The other problem was with the transport. The truck that was supposed to take our supply to Pignon broke down. We fortunately found a bus half full with Haitians escaping Port au Prince that could take us. We piled the top of the bus with supplies, but we had to leave some on the tarmac (hopefully will arrive in Pignon in the next few days).

We were finally ready to leave at night-time. It was too late for our team to take the helicopter. It took us two hours to get through the traffic jam in Port au Prince, and after driving a few hours the driver recommended to stop for the night, because the road ahead is in very bad condition and he did not feel safe to travel it at night. We stayed in a hotel in Mirabelais. Early in the morning we left for the last leg of the trip, a four-hour journey over terrible road. I gave the teddy bear to a little girl, Jessica Aldius, who was escaping Port au Prince after her home was destroyed a few family members perished.

After lunch, we went to the hospital to bring our supplies, assess the needs,and meet the previous team. The hospital is full of patients who were evacuated from Port au Prince by air. Mainly fractures and crush injuries. Our team will overlap with the team currently in Pignon for a few days, then our team will take over completely. It is estimated that the need will continue for some time. Orthopedic surgeons and ward physicians will be in need. An ER physician and I will be doing the pre-op and post-op care. We already changed a few dressings, but real work will start tomorrow.

Thank you everyone for your support.

Claude

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5 responses to “Dispatch from Pignon

  1. Hi Dr. Roge-

    Thank you for your continued service to the Haitian people.

    Just curious, did you stay at the Le Mirage Hotel in Mirabelais? If so, how did the hotel and Mirabelais fare during the earthquake? I recently visited the PIH Zami Lasante facility in Cange which is about 45 minutes outside of Mirabelais.

    Safe Travels-

    Adam Brown

  2. Way to go Claude. I hope to join you soon.
    Craig

  3. Sherry Helton, LMFT

    My greatest admiration for all of your team, giving the greatest gift you could ever provide for the Haiti people. Love. Hope. Kindness.
    Each of you are in my prayers.

    Sherry Helton, LMFT
    Kaiser Psychiatry
    Aliso Viejo, CA

  4. As one aid worker to another, you folks are to be commended. Best wishes

    Tim Heacox
    KPIT

  5. Dear Adam,
    Sorry for not answering sooner. I had very limited email access while in Haiti. I am back home now and I want to let you know that we did spend the night at the Mirage Hotel in Mirabelais.
    It was not affected by the earthquake.
    Thank you for your support.
    Claude

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