Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | January 31, 2010

Katy to Haiti Report

Child on Stretcher | Left Arm Amputated

Kingsland’s Missions Ministry always has several initiatives in play at any given time. On the Thursday before I left for India earlier this month, our missions office sent an e-mail to the Kingsland family asking for medical supplies for Haiti. By Friday evening, we had collected, boxed, and packed over one-thousand pounds of medical supplies. Four Kingsland members joined a larger medical team to Haiti. Kingsland member Wayne Fairley accompanied the team to aid with logistics. Here is a summary of that initiative and the impact it had on the people of Haiti. 

Omar | Wayne, we had to act quickly to mobilize medical staff and supplies for Haiti. Once we packed and loaded the supplies we collected at Kingsland, what happened next? 

Wayne | We worked with Angel Flight to find available planes and pilots willing to fly to Haiti. We located one, then two planes and, praise God, within a day after collecting supplies, we launched toward Haiti with four planes carrying a team of fifteen people and about one ton of supplies. 

Omar | Many organizations responded to the crisis in Haiti therefore limiting the available number of landing spots. What challenges did the team face in getting to Haiti and where did you land? 

Wayne | We faced weather delays, darkness, fuel availability, and air traffic and security restrictions. But, our Pilot and pilots found a creative route to get us to Jacmel on the southern coast. We arrived in Jacmel after stops in Miami and San Juan, Puerto Rico and a circle around the Dominican Republic. 

Omar | What were your first impressions and immediate challenges when you landed in Jacmel? What steps did the team take to set up a basic clinic and surgical environment? 

Wayne | Jacmel is a sleepy city with very limited medical resources. The hospital was mostly destroyed and the equipment was primitive. We rapidly assessed, among the chaos, what was needed and what medical procedures were possible with what we had brought with us and also found. We managed to pull together a minimalist operating environment. 

Omar | How did non-medical team members help? 

Wayne | We borrowed vehicles from the local Hands and Feet Mission and set out to scavenge for medical equipment in clinics outside of town. And, when some enormous US Navy helicopters started arriving, we helped transfer a few thousand meals to UN trucks. It was hot and heavy work. 

Omar | In addition to collecting and purchasing medical supplies, our missions ministry also purchased tents and other camping supplies. Were these items useful? 

Wayne | Medical supplies were scarce so the ton of bandages, supplies and meds were very well received. Since we camped at an unfinished building near the Jacmel airstrip, we didn’t have to use the tents. But, the local missionaries were elated to have them for victim families who had no other shelter. 

Omar | After a couple of days in Jacmel, the team relocated to Port au Prince. How did the team travel to Port au Prince and with whom did you connect when you arrived? 

Wayne | The US Navy was very flexible and very helpful. Our team traveled on helicopters returning to Port au Prince after the food drops. Upon landing at Port au Prince, we connected in a divine way with a woman who knew of immediate needs at the Haitian Community Hospital across town. 

Omar | How did medical team members assist at the Haitian Community Hospital? 

Wayne | Wow! Our team was a glove fit for the needs enumerated when we walked in the door. The most pressing needs included an anesthesiologist, a pediatric specialist, operating room specialists, generalist MDs, and muscle to move the hundreds of patients around. Our team went to work immediately. 

Omar | How were non-medical team members used? 

Wayne | We handled the flow of patients from the lawn and triage to X-ray and operating room staging areas and then from recovery areas back to the hallways and lawn. We were runners for supplies. We gathered a team of local teens to help ration and distribute water to keep patients, families, and care givers hydrated in the hot building and tents. 

Omar | How would you summarize the impact of our quick-response team? 

Wayne | It’s certain that our team saved lives and limbs, relieved much pain, and brought comfort to that small corner of Port au Prince for a few days. 

Omar | What’s next in regard to continuing medical help? 

Wayne | Our doctors emphasized that a critical factor during the coming days and weeks will be wound care and infection control. I will help our missions ministry in mobilizing continuing teams of care-givers and supplies to Haiti. Transportation is the greatest immediate need since there are no commercial services and identified transports are overwhelmed. 

Omar | I am grateful to Wayne for serving as our point man in Haiti and also to Dr. Cindy Anthis, Kim Parris, and Jim Rankin for their service to the people of Haiti. I am especially grateful to the Kingsland family for their generous donation of medical supplies and monetary donations to assist the people of Haiti. Thanks for going beyond! 

Kingsland’s Missions Ministry will continue to stay engaged in aspects of the continuing relief work. Please make monetary donations payable to Kingsland Baptist Church with the words “Haiti Relief” in the Memo line. To learn more about how you can help, please contact Wayne at projectmanager@gmail.com or 832.335.2292.


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