Posts Tagged ‘amputees in earthquake.’

We wanted to share this lovely message we received from a member of the Project Medishare for Haiti staff:

“What a great and busy few days Team Zaryen has had! The trip included: a halftime exhibition at the DC United vs. Portland Timbers game at RFK Stadium in DC, a live taping at Fox News CT, a meet and greet with the Governor of Connecticut at the State House, scrimmage and soccer clinic in Stamford, a re-union with Ralph Gedeon who was an ISTAT (International Society of Transport Aircraft Trading) Medivac patient from the earthquake, a NY Red Bulls Pre-Game exhibition and a meet and greet with the team, an appearance on Fox and Friends’ national morning show followed by a tour of Times Square and the surrounding area, a Soccer Clinic in Astoria, and finally a shopping trip in Newark, New Jersey’s Wal-Mart where they shopped for their families with such care.

Suffice it to say that the past week has been nothing short of magic! With their sincerity, humility and big hearts; the members of Team Zaryen captured hearts and inspired those wherever they went. It has been my privilege to be part of this team for the past 21 months and I am most grateful. The team wanted to extend their thankfulness to everyone affiliated with Project Medishare and the Knights of Columbus. You all would have been so proud of these incredible, resilient and spiritual men and women as they shared their experience, strength and hope not only with the Wounded Warriors but everywhere they went.”

Team Zaryen in their Nike Soccer donated uniforms

Team Zaryen in their Nike Soccer donated uniforms

Project Medishare for Haiti would like to once again thank Nike Soccer, Perry Ellis and of course the Knights of Columbus.

Team Zaryen meeting with members of the NY Red Bulls

Team Zaryen meeting with members of the NY Red Bulls

We also wanted to send a special thank you to everyone that came out to meet and support Team Zaryen during their Inspiration Tour, without all of you this would not have been possible.

Team Zaryen in Times Square

Team Zaryen in Times Square


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Team Zaryen, Haiti’s amputee soccer team which is sponsored by the Knights of Columbus and Project Medishare, will be participating in the Haitian Inspiration Tour in the United States from October 16-October 22, 2011. The team will host soccer clinics for wounded U.S. soldiers, perform exhibits for Major League Soccer halftime shows and scrimmage against Connecticut high school students. A website featuring Team Zaryen’s Story, Tour schedule, Team information, Mission statement, News and Photos was just unveiled and you can check it out here!

The Team Zaryen Haitian Inspiration Tour schedule is as follows:

Monday, October 17, 2011:
Washington D.C
1-3pm: Amputee Soccer Clinic with service members (Walter Reed Army Medical Center)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011:
Washington D.C
10:30am-12 noon: Soccer Clinic at Robert F. Kennedy Stadium
12:15-1:30pm: Demonstration Game Team Zaryen vs. American Amputee Soccer Team

Wednesday, October 19, 2011:
Washington D.C
10:30am-12 noon: Soccer Clinic at Robert F. Kennedy Stadium
8pm: D.C. United vs. Portland Timbers (Team Zaryen performs at half-time show)

Thursday, October 20, 2011:
Stamford, Connecticut
10:30am: Team Zaryen is welcomed to Connecticut by Governor Dannel P. Malloy
2pm: Demonstration with students at Trinity High School in Stamford, Conn.
Harrison, New Jersey
8pm: New York Red Bulls vs. Philadelphia Union at the Red Bull Arena (Team Zaryen performs at half-time show)

Friday, October 21, 2011:
New York City Media events

We want to wish Wilfrid and Team Zaryen a successful tour next week. As always, please be sure to check our Facebook and Twitter feeds often to get up to date information on all things Project Medishare.

Thank you to Nike Soccer and Lynn Merritt for donating the awesome uniforms to Team Zaryen and to Perry Ellis for outfitting the members of  the team off the field!

This would not be possible without the help of the Knights of Columbus, thank you for your continued partnership with Project Medishare!

Team Zaryen

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Wilfred Macena

Twenty-six year old Wilfred Macena was at work welding in a shop when the catastrophic earthquake hit Haiti in January 2010. Like so many others, Wilfred was trapped under the rubble. He was able to free himself but not without escaping injury. Wilfred damaged his right leg when it was crushed by falling debris.

Wilfred stayed at home with his injured leg for three days before finally getting to Adventist Hospital. He waited at Adventist Hospital for four days but ended up leaving out of frustration as he was never seen by a doctor and went to the neighboring Dominican Republic. Seven days after being injured in the earthquake, Wilfred had an above the knee amputation on his right leg in the Dominican Republic. At first he was very hesitant about the procedure. He asked the doctor what his prognosis would be following the amputation and was told that he would be able to walk again with a prosthetic leg which made him feel comfortable with the procedure.

On April 1, 2010, Wilfred went to the Project Medishare field hospital to have his leg fitted for a prosthetic. Upon his return to the hospital on April 3, the staff explained to Wilfred how to walk with the prosthetic and within five minutes he was up and running! Dr. Barth A. Green, co-founder of Project Medishare, was in the tent and asked Wilfred if he wanted a job with Project Medishare. Wilfred currently works in the Prosthetics and Orthotics laboratory and clinic at the Hospital Bernard Mevs Project Medishare. He takes measurements for prosthetic limbs and knows how to fix them. He has learned how to speak and understand English while working for Project Medishare. Wilfred is also a mentor to anyone that is facing amputation and for those being fitted for prosthetics. He is the perfect example that life does go on even after amputation and is a constant source of encouragement and inspiration. He is playing soccer again with the Project Medishare Team Zaryen Amputee Soccer team. He has a one and a half year old and is expecting his second child in July.

Wilfred’s spirit is incomparable. It takes two hours to get from his tent home to work every day by taking three tap taps. He repeats the same long, treacherous trip to get home each night. He says that he is extremely grateful to Project Medishare because if he did not work there he would not be able to work as he lost everything, including his welding tools, in the earthquake. It is fair to say that the feeling is mutual; Project Medishare is very grateful to have Wilfred as part of our team.

Wilfred Macena at work in the Prosthetics and Orthotics laboratory and clinic at the Hospital Bernard Mevs Project Medishare

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By Jennifer Browning

Dr. Andre Vulcain checked into the Visa Lodge near the Port-au-Prince airport January 12 after his connecting flight to Cap Haitien was canceled due to bad weather in the region. He planned to fly out the next day, but the earth shook the capital city that evening, and Dr. Vulcain’s plans were dramatically changed.

While the Project Medishare/UM Global Institute team accompanied by Dr.

Former Project Medishare Board member, Dr. Andre Vulcain tends to an amputee patient injured in the January 12 earthquake. Dr. Vulcain, one of the first Haitian American doctors on the ground, set up a clinic in an orphanage with two local doctors. Together, they saw over 100 patients in three days. Photo courtesy of Association of Haitian Physicians Abroad- Florida.

Barth Green were the first foreign medical team to arrive in Haiti after the earthquake. Dr. Vulcain was the first Haitian-American to begin treating earthquake victims.

Former Project Medishare Board member, Dr. Vulcain said the earthquake hit while he was in his hotel room.

“For me it was a big scare rather  than real harm, ” Dr. Vulcain said. “I was emotionally shaken, but physically fine.”

After hearing about the widespread destruction caused by the earthquake, Dr. Vulcain actively looked for his immediate relatives living in the city. His sister-in-law and niece crawled out of the rubble of their heavily damaged home. They had mild contusions, but they were alive. Although happy that his relatives were fine, Dr. Vulcain couldn’t escape the despair which surrounded him.

“People on the streets were shell-shocked and some neighborhoods looked like they had been bombed,” he said. “Dead people were lying on the sidewalks and the valiant Haitian people, in an impressive demonstration of solidarity and compassion, were the first bare-hand responders without support or guidance from the authorities, trying frantically to extract some unfortunate victims from the rubble.”

Two days after the quake, Dr. Vulcain found his way to Delmas 75 where his aunt lived. While he received news of the Project Medishare/UM Global Institute setting up a trauma hospital at the airport, he couldn’t reach the team. There was lack of fuel and traffic on the roads leading to the airport was chaotic.

Instead of working his way back to the airport, Dr. Vulcain walked to an orphanage who was providing care to earthquake victims. Fifty patients crowded around the courtyard. Two Haitian doctors, Dr. Paul Pelissier, and orthopedist and Dr. Gabriel, an anesthesiologist who two lived in the neighborhood and had been working there since the morning. Dr. Vulcain joined the doctors and surveyed the situation noting the supplies and medicine available. Two rooms were converted into a pediatrics ward

“Fortunately, the orphanage looked pretty well stocked, by Haitian standards, in some basic supplies,” he said. “Two American missionary nurses offered there generous help, and some Haitian volunteers came to assist with logistics.”

The patient count grew as more people arrived outside the orphanage, desperately trying to get medical attention.

For the next three days, Dr. Vulcain, Dr. Pelissier and Dr. Gabriel worked around the clock doing splinting and casting, reducing dislocation of limbs, suturing and cleaning infected wounds and open fractures, providing oral pain medication as needed,…….the injury list was long. The team worked desperately to save limbs of those with severe crush injuries where they could, but found it necessary to perform two amputations.

“Our team was, by luck, highly complementary and just after a couple of hours we were working effectively and efficiently focusing on the goal of helping our unfortunate brothers and sisters,” Dr. Vulcain said, who is also the University of Miami’s faculty liaison and representative in Haiti for the Haiti Project.

The three doctors saw over 100 patients in their make-shift clinic within a three day period.

“We had no death of patients who made it to our facility,” Dr. Vulcain said. “My surgical training and experience that preceded my dedication to Family Medicine were definitely helpful in these particular circumstance.”

After visiting Leogane and helping a medical team of Haitian and Cuban doctors set up a medical clinic there, Dr. Vulcain returned to Miami for a week. He is now back in Haiti continuing to help his country.

You can read Dr. Vulcain’s full trip report on the AMHE site here.

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