Dr. Andree Leroy: Haiti Firsthand

Dr. Andree Leroy's Experience in Haiti

In late February, Dr. Andree Leroy, a resident physician at Spaulding traveled to Haiti to respond to the nation’s crisis after the devastating earthquake in January, 2010.

While in Haiti with Project HOPE as a part of the Medical Assessment Team, I visited multiple medical facilities throughout the island to gauge rehabilitation needs for the thousands of the injured victims of the earthquake.  My team and I traveled from the border of the Dominican Republic, through Port au Prince and the surrounding areas.   During our 8-day assessment, we interviewed healthcare workers, patients, families, administrative staff, and rehabilitation workers to collect information on how to enhance health systems in the upcoming months.  I also contributed my rehabilitation expertise to the WHO health cluster meeting, and the UN Injury, Rehabilitation and Disability Working Group. 

At times I felt saddened by the overwhelming need for rehabilitation, especially when several of my patients had developed complications from immobilization.  In other instances, however, I saw hope. The people were so grateful for my presence.  Many gave me thanks for not forgetting about them. After I distributed pamphlets in Haitian Creole about amputee management, several patients immediately started doing exercises.   

One patient in particular stood out to me, Mr. X, an 8 year old boy who lost his immediate family in the quake, and had a newly acquired above the knee amputation.  He was such a comfort to all the volunteers by greeting us when we came. Despite his newly acquired disability, Mr. X was getting around great. 

Once we completed our assessment, we developed a timeline of the anticipated need for rehabilitation services, orthopedics, and nursing in the months to come. It became apparent that rehabilitation services including Physiatry, Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, Speech Therapy, Psychology, and Rehabilitation Nursing are desperately needed to heal the physical and emotional wounds from this disaster. I am so pleased that Spaulding is invested in making a difference and that I could be a part of it.

You guys are awesome!

Kim B.

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