September 28, 2014

Last evening the living room at Cherlie and my house turned into an Emergency Room. Around 5pm, just as the skies opened with a heavy rainfall, we heard a voice calling to us from the driveway. It was the head masonry foreman at our clinic site, a young man named Mackenson. He had just driven into the driveway on his motorcycle and was half carrying, half dragging one of the other masons named Peterson down the driveway towards the house. Peter’s face was covered in blood and around his right hand was a bloody towel. Before I even had time to come out of my room, where I had been working, Cherlie had Peterson lying in the living room on a chaise lounge chair that she brought in from the back porch. In a few minutes another “patient” arrived, also a mason from our clinic site named Ralphie.

As I assessed their wounds and injuries, we heard their story. Peterson and Ralphie had left the site in Gatineau first, on their way into Jérémie for the rest of the weekend (they live at the site during the week). Mackenson stayed behind to close up the doors and was a few minutes behind them on his motorcycle. When he got down the mountain to the intersection with the main paved road, he saw a big crowd of people. He recognized Peterson’s motorcycle lying by the side of the road and asked what had happened. Apparently three motorcycles all arrived at the uncontrolled intersection at the same time and two of them collided, knocking the two drivers and two passengers down onto the pavement. Peterson passed out initially, but came to enough to be driven by another motorcycle to the general hospital in Jérémie, along with Ralphie. It was at the hospital that Mackenson caught up with them. They waited in the Emergency Room of the government hospital for over an hour without being attended to, so Mackenson lost his patience and left, along with his two injured friends. They knew where to get medical help when they needed it!

Thus, the living room because an Emergency Department for the next three hours, as Cherlie and I cleansed and sutured all their wounds. Peterson had a cut on the forehead, several on his upper lip and several on the fingers of his right hand. Ralphie had a deep laceration over the left eyebrow, which required a multiple-layer closure. Cherlie held a flashlight to give me better light than what the ceiling lights provided and we prayed that their injuries weren’t more severe than what we could manage without CT scans and xrays!

We gave them medications to take at home, head injury instructions and advice regarding their activities for the next couple of days. We’ll see them again on Monday to check on their progress. As they left, we said a prayer of thanks that the injuries weren’t worse and that we were here to help them out. I’m sure they would appreciate your prayers for them in the next few days and weeks, especially since they won’t be able to work and earn money. We’ll be following them closely until they are healed and back to work again. Thanks for your part in helping us to be here in Haiti.

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