Thursday, May 13, 2010

Nev working with a cutie pie at Notre Maison who hadn't eaten in 3 days, probable parasite.
hillside on the way up to wings of hope

here's a photo of our team "rounds" on the children at the orphanages. technology enabled us to photograph and video children with specific orthotic or positional needs to be reviewed by Matthew and Felipe who would then return to the site to provide imperitive care.
a photo of Fiona having fun working with a child at Notre Maison

Felipe and a beautiful little girl who fell in love with him. She kept resting her head on his lap while he was working. so sweet.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

HHH Rehab Tent Clinic

Today Rami, Chelsey, Meghan, Melinh, and Olivia headed to the HHH Rehab Tent Clinic to help with the outpatient clients that arrive each morning. We started by reviewing charts and speaking with the rehab techs that staff the clinic. The clinic is well equiped with supplies and has several treatment tables, an exercise bike, a treadmill, theraputty, theraband, and other supplies. We saw approximately 12 patients with varying diagnosis such as stroke, fractures, crush injuries, and nerve impingements. We supplied the patients we saw with home exercises that would help them increase strength and decrease pain. By practicing some exercises at home, the patients will not have to travel from hours away to the clinic in order to make progress in their rehabilitation. We were also able to provide and modify AFO's for a few patients. One in particular smiled and laughed after successfully walking without his walker while wearing an AFO we had modified for him. It was an amazing day, and we were impressed with how well the clinic is running.


More of Notre Maison and HHH clinic

Six of us (Felipe, Matt, Nev, Margaret, Amy and Fiona) made another jaunt "through the town" with the expert driving of Joel to visit Notre Maison with the intention of following through with our previous day's assessments. This included modifying some ill fitting wheelchairs by adding footrests (Matt's specialty) and readjusting the seats and backrests of these little ones' wheelchairs. It was amazing to see the smiles on their faces as they obviously felt more comfortable in their chairs. Matt and Felipe did a wonderful job of fitting AFOs (leg braces) and shoes with several children who would never have been able to stand or walk! I asssisted this whole process and even had the privilege of helping a little 7 year old boy who had never stood or walked before take his first steps, smiling all the way (both of us)! Fiona was able to offer therapy intervention with several children and demonstrating some programs with the staff. Amy, our wonderful team leader, organized and coordinated this effort by listing the children and identifying all their needs and follow up recommendations. This will especially be important for the continuity of care. Nev provided followup medical care for several whom we were very concerned about yesterday. She referred 8 children for parasitic GI infection and medical treatment/antibiotics.
Amy and Felipe were fighting over the custody of a darling little 3 year old boy :), who will soon be adopted by a family.
If one wants to donate to Notre Maison Orphanage, you may contact Gertrude, the director, at They use DHL service to receive packages at this address:
Route Nle #1 Sarthe 41 Rue Camorade #3 Port au Prince Haiti. Some items that they might need are kids' shoes, a solar radio, coloring books and crayons or any other toys..all kinds!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Notre Maison Orphanage

Today we were able to go around the UN barricades in Port-au-Prince and finally make it to Notre Maison Orphanage. Many of the kids that live here have lost their parents in the earthquake. We had an amazing time helping with wheelchair fitting, feeding training, medical assessment, prosthetic and orthotic triage and measurements. It was an amazing day.
Olivia was able to help this young gentleman drink on his own for the first time in his life!:)
Margaret became adopted by a little boy who loved to hug her.

UN barricades were everywhere in town.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Wings of Hope Orphanage Visit

Team California is Well and Safe

Team California is well and safe at the guest house. We are without Internet due to heavy rains. We will post pictures as soon as the connection is back up. Posted via SMS.

CPO's day

Mat and I just got back from a very busy day treating patients (finally) and interviews with the German press. It was an interesting day. We started out at a hospital called Espoir (french). Six or so prosthetic pts. that were there, were either being taken care of at another organization called Handicap International or going to be seen there. There was one upper extremity patient that was not being seen there, b/c they are prioritizing lower extremity pts. first, but we did not have the components neccessary to make her a Prosthesis...very frustrating. We did provide some shrinkers to those other patients for ease of donning. We had to leave the hospital and come back with supplies, when we came back there were some German reporters there who wanted to find out about the state of the crisis. We did our best to sum up the story form the little exposure we had. They were satisfied and took plenty of notes.

We also got to speak, at length with the Prosthetist that is in charge of this O&P facility here at HHH. We got a glimpse of the layout of the new lab being built. We also got the skinny on all of the political and territorial elements that are making the rehab endevour here, in Haiti, very difficult. The press is reporting anywhere between 15 and 100 thousand amputees after the earthquake. This prosthetist, who was here long before the earthquake, went to the different hospital sites and counted. His assessment is only 2 thousand! A huge disscrepancy.

Tomorrow we are going with this CPO to, Medishare, the hospital that we went to the first day, because he has an "in" there...maybe we can help?? If anything we can really asses the situation for any O&P people that will come after us.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

More of Malissa's Hope Orphanage

Matt was working on fitting Lovely with an AFO to help ensure she can walk independently. She needs an Achilles lengthening surgery and we are in the process of arranging that with a local orthopedic surgeon.

The team all together

Ms. Paula's head needed a little extra support so the team manufactured a simple support - she can now hold her head up high and smile to everyone! :)

Michael Jackson impressed with his intelligence and beautiful smile. He needs a reassessment of his hydrocephalus and we are tying to figure out how to get that for him.

Malissa's Hope Orphanage in Port-au-Prince

We were at the Malissa's Hope Orphanage in Port-au-Prince to assess the needs of the children with disabilities. The kids were amazing and we were able to fix up some of their chairs, teach the care providers some exercises and write down a list of needs that we would try to find a way to get to the kids. You can mail supplies directly to the orphanage using DHL and they will be able to pick it up: Jean Pascal Bain - Director, Marin 26 Rue Le Refuge #32, BonRePos, Port-au-Prince, Haiti you can also email the orphanage director Pascal and check what he needs at Out of the things you could mail some things they need are: tents, coloring books and reading books in English and French, toys, shoes, clothes ages 4-15.

Haiti Orphan Rescue Project - Mike, Malissa's Hope Orphanage - Pascal, LIV NGO - Nevena all part of HHH planning a fundraiser that will help the 10 orphanages that made an association last night to help voice their needs to the world.

Mike with Paula, Michael and Vincent

Megan and Margaret working with Mr. Peterson who will need to be assessed for his hydrocephalus and hopefully get a treatment in the US if we can figure out how. Mr. Peterson loves to sing and listen to music but he has nothing to listed to. You could mail him a solar powered radio. :)

Saturday, May 8, 2010

The City of Port au Prince

The whole city rests in rubble.
Tent cities are everywhere for the lucky ones that were able to get a tent. Many more are needed and if you are able to get them please email Gail to "" who will connect you with the next team over who can bring them. :) This evening it is raining, and a family could be safe and dry by a tent you help provide.
People here are resourceful and are trying to continue business as usual in makeshift shops.
Colorful street market.
A local girl waving us "Hello!" :)

Team California Arrival in Haiti

Rami with his typhoid live-attenuated vaccine that was chilling for him in the airplane refrigerator. :)
The HHH van that came to pick us up from the airport.
Loading up in the van with help from wonderful local people.
At the airport, numerous non-profit groups gathered the donated goods they brought over.

All of our bags arrived safely and intact.

Matt, Felipe and Rami taking a break after helping with post-earthquake clean up at the guesthouse.

all team members and all bags arrived safely

I am writing to you from the lovely HHH guesthouse, all of our team members and supplies arrived safely. It is nice to be back but difficult to see the destruction from the earthquake and think about the horror that the Haitian people went through and are still going through. They still need tents and tons of them. The rain comes down every night and many people still don't have tents. We will recover from our long journey across the country today and will unpack and plan for the week. More info and photos to come. -Team California

Thursday, May 6, 2010

11 Californians head to Haiti bon voyage!

Some of us will start our journey across the country and the caribbean ocean mid-day tomorrow (Friday 5/7). We will join forces in Miami early Saturday morning and fly together to Port au Prince. We will arrive in Haiti around 8:00 in the morning on Saturday May 8th. Hopefully all of our supplies (estimated 20 bags worth) will also arrive with us. Either way, we are excited for a great week of hard work. We'll try to update the blog each day.