Triangle doctors headed to Haiti

Triangle doctors headed to Haiti

February 19, 2010 9:07:21 PM PST
A team of doctors from more than a half dozen hospitals and clinics across the Triangle are headed north of the disaster zone.The 13 member team is headed for Sacred Heart Hospital (Hopital Sacre Coeur) in Milot, Haiti.

The team consists of orthopedic surgeons, a general surgeon, operating room nurses, anesthetists, anesthesiologists and physical therapists.

"We're going to be there for seven days," Duke Raleigh Anesthesiology Dr. Don Edmondson said. "We have everything in these bags from simple dressings, sutures to anesthetics."

Ready for the mission in Haiti where needs change daily from fatal infections to amputations.

"In Haiti we're told that an amputation is very much a death sentence," Edmondson said.

Edmondson is joined by a group of nine other doctors, nurses and physical therapists.

They represent Duke Raleigh, Rex, UNC, Durham Regional and several clinics in the Triangle.

"The hospital that we're going to which is a 70 bed hospital is now taking care of nearly 400 patients is also just running into all of the issues that you have in a 400 bed hospital."

"I think most of us are just ready to help out and I'm sure it will be everything from helping do a C-section to changing dressings." general surgeon Dr. Lewis Stocks said.

For Edelyne Gelin-Ryan, the trip is painfully personal.

"My cousin's son passed away during the Earthquake, it's been very sad for the family," said Edelyne Gelin-Ryan with Duke Raleigh.

Gelin-Ryan was born in Haiti and later moved to the U.S. when she was 13. She is the only team member who speaks Creole.

"And I will be translating for them," she said.

She's from Milot, about 80 miles north of Port-au-Prince.

"They need our help to help the kids, help the families so they can move on with their lives," Gelin-Ryan said.

The team left for the island nation from RDU around 5 p.m. Friday. Three other doctors will leave Saturday to join the team.

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