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Posts Tagged ‘earthquake victims’

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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The Miami Dolphins organization has been incredibly charitable and supportive of Project Medishare. This week at practice was no exception. As you may recall from a previous post the Dolphins helped to reconnect three young boys, displaced by the 2010 Haitian earthquake, with their family members in Haiti. These boys were all MedEvac’ed out of Haiti with serious injuries following the earthquake and received numerous surgeries at Miami Children’s Hospital. 10-year-old Peterson suffered a serious head injury and a severed ear and required 16 surgeries, Junior, a 17-year-old high school student sustained a serious leg injury, and 10-year-old Belix also had a head injury and multiple surgeries.

On Tuesday, August 9th, 2011, Aventura Worldwide Transportation Services picked up the boys and their family members in Miami and drove out to the Miami Dolphins official practice facility in Davie, FL. There they were greeted by coach Sparano’s wife, Jeanette, Ilona Wolpin, Senior Director of Community Relations and Michelle Beck of Community Relations. They were brought to the VIP section of the stands and enjoyed a fun afternoon of watching the Dolphins practice while eating lunch, playing and laughing with each other. The boys were all given Dolphins merchandise including a banner. When the practice was over, the boys were brought down to a special area where they were able to meet many of the players as well as Head Coach Tony Sparano and received many autographs on their banners!

Miami Dolphin Reggie Bush with Junior, Belix, Kristian and Jeanette Sparano. Photo credit: Kelly Gavin

It was an extraordinary day that these Dolfans will surely never forget!

Miami Dolphin Jake Long with Belix, Junior, Peterson & Wadner. Photo credit: Kelly Gavin

On a side note, it was very heartwarming to see some of our special friends, Kristian and Xavier Jack, reunite with Jeanette Sparano and Benny Sapp. They all became very close last year after a tragic event occurred in the Jack family. Xavier and Kristians brother Quentin and their sister Ashleigh moved to Georgia but all of the children formed lasting relationships with Jeanette and Benny.

Head Coach Tony Sparano, Xavier Jack, Miami Dolphin Benny Sapp, Jiovanni & Kristian Jack (front). Photo credit: Kelly Gavin

Special thanks to the Miami Dolphins, especially Ilona Wolpin, Senior Director of Community Relations, Coach and Jeanette Sparano, Michelle Beck, Community Relations and Eric Knowles, Senior Director of Government Affairs. We would also like to express our sincere gratitude to Aventura Worldwide Transportation Services and Scott Tinkler for providing transportation for the day.

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Three Young, Displaced Earthquake Survivors Reconnect With Family In Haiti

On Tuesday, June 21, 2011 Project Medishare was able to reconnect three young boys, displaced by the 2010 Haitian earthquake, with their family members in Haiti thanks to the Miami Dolphins. They are only three of the roughly 200 critically injured young children who were medically evacuated from the battered nation and transported to South Florida for life-saving surgery immediately following the earthquake. Only a few of their parents and siblings were able to come with them to the States, leaving the rest of their family members behind in the devastated capital of Port-au-Prince.

The boys arrived at Sun Life Stadium and were given an exclusive tour around the facility. They were able to walk on the field, see the team locker rooms, and an up close look at the team trophy case. The boys were then taken to a room where through teleconferencing technology, each was able to participate in a video chat session with their family members in Haiti.

The first child to be reconnected with his family in Haiti was Peterson who was joined by his mother Armenise. 10 year old Peterson suffered a serious head injury and a severed ear as a result of the quake and required 16 surgeries. Peterson was able to speak with his older sister for first time in over a year. Junior, a 17-year-old high school student sustained a serious leg injury, “I’m just waiting to see my family because I was missing them a lot”. Junior and his older brother Wadner were both able to be reconnected with their father and brother. Lastly, 10 year old Belix and his father Prezner were reconnected with Prezner’s sister and his three youngest children.

Laughter filled the room as the families reconnected. Emotions were also high as the family members shared tears of joy from being able to see each other for the first time in over a year. It was truly a touching moment and it was hard for the families to say good-bye, but the families are optimistic about being reunited once again in the not so distant future.

To see a brief video of this special day, please click here for a Channel 7 News report.

Belix, Peterson & Junior at Sun Life Stadium, home of the Miami Dolphins

Special thank you to the Miami Dolphins for opening your facility to these boys & making this a day they will not forget.

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Edith, twenty-four years old, was riding as a passenger in a tap tap when a barrel fell off of a truck and struck her, injuring her C6/C7 vertebrae and causing paralysis. She could not move her legs, she was not able to sit-up or balance on her own and she could barely move her arms. She arrived and was admitted to the Project Medishare field hospital after first visiting another hospital in Haiti. When the organization moved to Hospital Bernard Mevs in the summer of 2010, Edith subsequently moved as well in order to continue treatment and obtain further critical care.

Edith completed her rehabilitation program and returned to her home. Unfortunately, her return home was short-lived and only lasted for one month. On a follow-up visit to Edith, she was found without her wheelchair and living outside. She had developed a severe wound living in those conditions and was immediately brought back to Hospital Bernard Mevs Project Medishare.

Marty, a physical therapist with extensive experience in spinal cord injury rehabilitation was at Hospital Bernard Mevs Project Medishare for a six-week volunteer stint. When they first met, Edith had begun preparing for her discharge back home. She was leaving the hospital with the mindset that she would constantly require assistance from someone else in order to be mobile. Marty did not share this notion; she believed that Edith had the potential to push her own wheelchair.

Edith said that Marty “was crazy” to think Edith could push her own chair. She really did not think she had the strength or function in her arms and hands to hold the wheel and push her chair. Marty explained to her that by using different muscles she would be able to do so. After nearly two weeks of daily strengthening exercises, Edith was ready to try pushing her chair by herself. Marty found rubber tubing to attach to the rim of the wheels to help Edith’s hands grip the wheel. Once everything was set it was time for Edith to see herself the way Marty saw her; strong and with limitless possibilities.

Using her shoulder muscles instead of her arms and squeezing in on the wheels, Edith was able to push the wheel. With a smile on her face, Edith said that she was “very tired and very happy”. She really did not believe that she would be able to push herself on her own but surprised herself and was very excited by what she was able to accomplish. Marty of course was extremely proud and happy for Edith who now has the ability to move around her own home and not be dependent on others.

Below is footage of Edith pushing her wheelchair by herself for the very first time.

 
Special thanks to Rachel Belt of Project Medishare in Haiti for providing the video and details of Edith’s story and to Xavi Manrique for assisting in the editing of the footage.

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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

Today marks one year since a powerful earthquake devastated Haiti causing widespread death and destruction. That day, in less than 40 seconds, millions of lives were changed forever.

In less than 40 seconds, millions of peoples lives changed in Haiti after a 7.0 earthquake struck a year ago today.

Just 20 hours after the earthquake, Project Medishare volunteer doctors, nurses and emergency personnel touched down in Port-au-Prince. They were among the first to respond to the disaster. Over the past year more than 5,000 doctors and nurses have joined us in treating more than 75,000 patients.

While Haiti has faced a hurricane, flooding and cholera, Project Medishare has continued to stand by the Haitian people in our mission to improve medical services in Haiti. But things are worse here in Haiti today than they were a day after the earthquake.

After Project Medishare transitioned from the field hospital to Hospital Bernard Mevs Project Medishare (HBMPM), the hospital staff there have treated over 45,000 patients, provided over 10,000 emergency room visits and performed an estimated 200 surgeries each month.

Not only is HBMPM Haiti’s only critical care and trauma facility, it also continues to operate the only pediatric and neonatal intensive care unit (NICU/PICU) and spinal cord injury unit.

A Project Medishare nurse evaluates a child at Hospital Bernard Mevs Project Medishare, currently Haiti's only critical care and trauma facility. Photo by Jennifer Browning.

Through our Amputee Rehabilitation Program we have fitted over 200 children and adult patients with lifesaving prosthetic limbs. Thanks to the Knights of Columbus, who have joined us in our quest to provide prosthetic limbs to Haiti’s amputees, we will be able to provide prosthesis and therapy for children. As these children grow, we will be able to fit them with up to three prosthesis including two years of therapy.

Project Medishare’s training and education programs for HBMPM medical staff are also moving forward with a generous grant from the American Red Cross. Today University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine’s Enrique Ginzburg, M.D., and Gillian Hotz, Ph.D., are meeting here in Port-au-Prince with leaders from the American College of Surgeons international program and other universities to coordinate the education and training of critical care health professionals in Haiti.

Tomorrow, architectural plans that will double the 45 beds at HBMPM and add an education center to train Haitian health professionals in critical care will be finalized. This will help us achieve the long-term goal in making HBMPM and its Haitian medical staff self-sustainable.

Project Medishare’s existing Community Health Program continues to serve over 100,000 in the Central Plateau. Through this program community health agents have been essential in battling cholera in and around the community along the Artibonite River. Armed with bullhorns and packets of oral-rehydration therapy, as well as donations of bleach and soap, our teams initiated a community education campaign. Our community doctors and nurses are also working at the Cholera Treatment Center in Mirebalais where we have treated over 10,000 patients suffering from this disease.

Project Medishare community health nurse Wiseline Celestine uses a bullhorn to educate people in Thomonde about cholera. Project Medishare's health agents were vital in educating the people in order to prevent cholera in their communities. They are also conducting additional home visits since the epidemic occurred. Photo by Jennifer Browning.

In the coming months, Project Medishare will celebrate the opening of the Akamil Production Facility in Thomonde and the Maternal Health Center in Marmont.

The final pieces are being put in place to finalize the Akamil Facility. Ground breaking began June 2007 for the construction of the facility, but final construction and equipment installment was delayed after earthquake. When production begins, it will mean so much to rural Haiti and those Project Medishare serves in the commune of Thomonde.

Thanks to the Greig Family, who completely funded the construction of the Maternal Health Center, women in the Central Plateau are closer to having access to a full package of women’s health services including reproductive health education, family planning, along with HIV/AIDS counseling and testing.

With the ongoing support of volunteers and friends around the world, Project Medishare has accomplished so much in the past year.

There is still critical need in Haiti today. Today, Project Medishare remembers those victims who perished or were injured in the earthquake.

To show your support Text “Save” to 501501 to donate $5 or click here to make an online gift to assist Project Medishare in continuing lifesaving work in Haiti.

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