There’s nothing like a hurricane to give you perspective. You would think that torrential rains, mud-sloshed roads, and wind gusts of up to 60 mph would keep people at home. As it turns out, the care we provide in Port-de-Paix, Haiti, is so valuable that even the harshest of elements couldn’t prevent people from seeking treatment from Sustainable Therapy and New Development (STAND) clinicians.
Over the two weeks that STAND had its clinic doors open, our team treated more than 1,350 patients. People came to us to address issues like back pain, post-stroke drop foot, and spinal cord injuries. Amputees received new prosthetics; our medical staff treated patients’ infections and maladies; kids and adults alike received appropriate orthoses and assistive devices; and most importantly, people left with less pain and more hope!
Additionally, during our time in Port-de-Paix, we created jobs for 41 locals, provided medical screenings and care for school children, and offered clinical education hours for students at a local nursing school. Our teams of physical therapists, prosthetists, orthotists, and nurses worked selflessly to make a difference in each patient’s life. Hailing from 15 states across the US (plus one amazing prosthetist from Leogane, Haiti), STAND’s fall team made the magic happen on levels we could never have imagined.
In the end, it was our ground crew in Haiti that made it all possible. Without the hard work and dedication of Lifaite, Gomez, and all of our support staff in Port-de-Paix, this degree of success would have been difficult even to imagine.
With every cog turning and each team member working to decrease our patients’ pain and disability, STAND’s fall trip of 2015 will be one for the books! We cannot thank each member of our STAND family enough for making this trip not only a success, but also a memorable beginning to our growing work in Haiti.
Stay tuned; we hope to provide excerpts, patient stories, and therapists’ reflections very soon.
Interested in joining the STAND family our next trip? It’s scheduled for January 22–February 7, and you can volunteer for either one week or two weeks. Please contact us at JDunaway@Stand4Haiti.org or MDenny@Stand4Haiti.org for more information.