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Thursday, February 25, 2010

concert at jackie's benefits haiti charity

(from just up the pike, Read more there)Last weekend, Jackie's Restaurant hosted an acoustic concert benefitting a hospital in earthquake-ravaged Haiti. About eighty people turned up to see a number of local musicians and support the International Medical Alliance, currently providing health care on the border of Haiti and the Dominican Republic. As always, local photographer and friend of JUTP Chip Py was there to capture the event for posterity.(from just up the pike, Read more there)

Monday, February 22, 2010

TUUC Friday Concert Series


March 5 – Rockin’ Jake
Its dancing time again; come enjoy this raucously wonderful New Orleans band. Come enjoy this infectious music as these musicians lay down those funky rhythms. Jake rules the Blues Harp; he’s 5 time winner of the "Best Blues Harmonica" award in the Best of the Beat, New Orleans Music Awards. Rockin' Jake has been hailed by many as one of the premier harmonica players in the country. His original sound is a hybrid of second line, swamp funk, blues and zydeco with influences from Paul Butterfield, Big Walter Horton, James Cotton, The Meters, WAR, J. Geils Band, Clifton Chenier, and the Fabulous Thunderbirds. Jake has conjured up this formula that is blowing crowds away from coast to coast.

Let’s help our neighbors in Haiti; 100% of the proceeds from funds raised from the silent auction and raffles will go to provide relief to Haiti

Haiti earthquake damage estimated up to $14 billion

(read more at Washington Post) Haiti's massive earthquake could be the world's most devastating natural disaster since World War II in relation to the country's size and economy, causing as much as $14 billion in damage, according to a study released Tuesday by the Inter-American Development Bank.

The estimate is based on comparisons with about 1,700 other disasters around the world in recent decades. A more detailed, official estimate is expected in a few weeks. But the preliminary study gives a sense of the extraordinary rebuilding task that awaits the hemisphere's poorest country.  (read more at Washington Post)

Friday, February 19, 2010

NYTimes - Doctors Haunted by Haitians They Couldn’t Help

(READ MORE AT NY TIMES) PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — The foreign doctors who performed the first amputations after the earthquake used hacksaws. They relied on vodka for sterilization, substituted local numbing for generalanesthesia, jury-rigged tourniquets from rubber gloves. Working around the clock in improvised operating rooms, they sacrificed limbs and lost patients to injuries that are no longer supposed to be disabling or deadly. 

Now back in their antiseptic, high-tech offices in the United States and elsewhere, the medical professionals who initially flew to Haiti’s rescue are haunted by their experiences, “overwhelmed by conflicting feelings of accomplishment and guilt,” as Dr. Louisdon Pierredescribed it.

They witnessed what Dr. Laurence J. Ronan ofMassachusetts General Hospital described as a “mass casualty horror show.” They practiced what Dr. Dean G. Lorich of the Hospital for Special Surgery in Manhattan called “Civil War medicine.” They saved lives, probably by the thousands, but their accomplishments were limited by the circumstances.  (READ MORE AT NY TIMES)

Friday, February 12, 2010

The Month Anniversary

On the month anniversary of the Haitian earthquake, Nadia and I remembered the world changing event in a prayer spread by the Haitian Diaspora around the world.

**May all Haitians around the globe pause for five minutes on February 12th between 4:50pm-4:55pm ,kneel & send their prayers up to Heaven. You can say the following prayer or one of your own.
"Almighty Father, pour out on us your mercy & compassion as we feel broken inside. We ask you for solace and comfort for those who lost their loved ones & their material belongings. Grant us the strength and courage to rebuild a Haiti where all Haitians will live and love each other as brothers & sisters regardless of their differences, we ask you in the name of your son Jesus Christ. Amen".

It seems more like one long continuous day since the quake. We have been living, breathing, dreaming Haiti 24/7 since Jan 12th.

CEO of Medshare on CNN talks about Haiti

Embedded video from CNN Video

Carol and Tom appear in a section of this video on the bus.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Meyerhoff Concert Postponed

The concert at the Meyerhoff hass been cancelled and a new date and time will be announced. The Brewers' Arts has been rescheduled on Monday, February 15th! Stay posted!

A Benefit for Haiti - Saturday, February 20th

Hey Tom,
You still matching the Medshare donations? If so, we will dedicate the
proceeds from this benefit to the organization.
-Tony & Claudia

Saturday, Feb 20th, a Benefit for Haiti at Jackie's Back Room. Bands will play unplugged (acoustic). It's going to be a unique night. When was the last time you saw a bunch of punk rockers playing this quietly? Performances include 7 Door Sedan, Sister Ex, Beatnik Flies, Ottley and many more. It starts at 8 pm with performances beginning immediately. Suggested donation is $15.

The Back Room is behind Jackie's Restaurant at 8081 Georgia Ave, Silver Spring. Use the Sligo Ave door entrance to the restaurant.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

It was hard to say good bye to Austin today as he heads back to Middlebury, Vt with the snow still making travel challenging. As a mother, feeling the sadness creep in because of the distance between me and my son, I can only imagine the pain Nadia suffers being separated from Jonathon in an unstable Haiti with an uncertain time to reunite.

Tom and I are trying to find a way to work the visa paper work one more time, this time for Jonathan. Manasse, who forgot that his birthday was yesterday, says the school in which he worked is being rebuilt and plans on opening early next month. But what will he do with Jonathon when he restarts work? What will happen when the rains come and they are still lining in a bug tent? How can we send a newborn to that inhumane environment and expect him to survive? If 3 y/o Jonathan could be here with his mother and brother everyone would be safer and more productive. Time to rally all our immigration connections again.

From the Big Earthquake to the Big Snow, Nadia and Gaetan survive the elements with grace and curiosity. Still in the hospital is not a bad thing since a tree fell on the neighbors house and another took the power lines down. Nadia wondered about the homeless during these conditions and what will happen in Haiti during the rainy season. Our networking for earthquake proof homes is progressing on multiple fronts. is very promising.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Rice + Beans = Medicine

Carol and I would like to express our heartfelt thanks for your overwhelming response to support our relief efforts in Haiti. Although there is not yet a final tally, we believe that donations to MedShare totaled between $35,000 and $40,000, matching our initial $5,000 challenge many times over. In addition, another $10,000 was generously donated to our friends at the International Medical Alliance (IMA).

Our hearts are filled with gratitude; however there is a continued, desperate need for help. IMA is still on the ground in Haiti with an immediate need to buy fuel to keep the hospital running and rice and beans to feed their patients. While the doctors were able to successfully treat many victims of the earthquake, it has become increasingly difficult to provide them with proper sustenance. It’s estimated that another $30,000 is urgently needed just to feed recovering patients between now and the end of February … and each month thereafter.

If at all possible, we urge you to reach into your hearts and into your wallets once again as we face this ongoing crisis…we must remain vigilant in our follow-up care. With your support, we will continue to do all we can to ease the pain and suffering of our friends in Haiti.


Tom and Carol


Please visit for more information about Rock to Rebuild, a Gala Concert Celebration uniting the spirit of Haiti and Baltimore and featuring Melky and Farel Jean (siblings of Wyclef Jean), Mario, Mya and the Morgan State University Choir.
February 11, 7:30pm
Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall

Tickets on sale now.

Brewer’s Art in Baltimore will host a fundraiser for a Haitian hospital on Monday, February 8. Please visit for more information.

Friday, February 5, 2010

A US Helicopter Crashed and Killed Two Doctors in Haiti

Two Americans were killed in the Dominican Republic while on board a U.S.-owned helicopter involved in Haiti aid efforts. Pilot John Ward and co-pilot James Jalove were returning from Haiti on Thursday night when their R44 II helicopter crashed into a mountain in the western Dominican province of Dajabon, said Dominican Civil Aviation Institute spokesman Pedro Jimenez. Jimenez did not release the men's home states or towns.

One of the firefighters at the scene, Angel Belliard, said one of the two men was dressed as a doctor -- he did not elaborate -- and that emergency responders found medication scattered around the crash site.

U.S. Embassy spokesman David Searby said he could not confirm the crash or the reported identities and nationalities of the victims. Protocol requires that the Embassy contact next of kin before confirming the deaths of U.S. citizens.

The helicopter was owned by JAJ Investments Limited in Naples, Florida, according to U.S. Federal Aviation Administration documents. The company could not be reached immediately for comment.

Nadia and baby had press conference today at GBMC. She thanked everyone at the hospital for helping her get here and deliver baby Gaetan safely and for treating her like a queen. The snow storm started shortly after the conference and is expected to continue through tomorrow evening. There is a sullenness with this snow as we get news of the pathology on the supposed fibroid; a desmoid tumor, and news from Jimini about a copter crash in the mountains with unsubstantiated loss of life. The patients in Jimini are coming through the surgeries well, but food for them is minimal. IMA is struggling to buy food with what they have. Monetary donations are slowing and are more desperately needed now for the people who have survived the earthquake; the "lucky" survivors now trying to survive the famine and disease that often follows an acute disaster.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

A B Short, CEO of Medshare, Travelled with us to Haiti:

When the news broke that a 7.0 earthquake had rocked Haiti, there was no question that MedShare would respond. Traditionally, we are not an emergency response organization, but over the past 10 years, we’ve shipped 37 containers of medical supplies and equipment to Haiti, and had established relationships there. The cry from that disaster was a personal one from our Haitian friends that were suffering. They desperately needed our help, and MedShare had the ability to do it.

Before the earthquake struck, I already had plans to go to Haiti to look at a project that we were going to do jointly with Project Medishare and Partners in Health. Two days after the earthquake, a company out of Florida offered use of their plane to MedShare for shipping medical supplies. We decided to use the plane to fly a medical team from International Medical Alliance of Tennessee to Santo Domingo, along with our medical supplies, and in an instinctive decision, I decided to go with them. I was already physically and emotionally prepared to be there, and being that MedShare doesn’t have a history of emergency response, I saw this was as an opportunity to learn about the issues and challenges of doing it.
So I traveled down with the team from IMA, who had a working relationship with a Haitian doctor who ran the Good Samaritan Hospital in Jimani, Dominican Republic. This was a 100-bed hospital just minutes across the Haitian border. Hospitals in Port-au-Prince were overcrowded and injured people were waiting days without treatment, so many Haitians were being transported by the truckload to Jimani. When we arrived there were over 300 patients needing emergency treatment.
I’ve traveled to 38 countries, and I’ve never witnessed the mass pain and suffering like I did on this trip to Haiti. It was emotionally draining, but incredibly inspiring to see the strength of the Haitian people, both the victims and the family members supporting them with love and care. There’s no way the medical staff could have met the needs of the patients without the family members there to help tend to them.
The Haitians had an insatiable spirit of survival that I’ll never forget. I remember seeing one young woman who had her right arm amputated at the shoulder joint. She just sat in the hospital just staring, patiently waiting and wondering what’s next for her life.
Then there were those patients like Erick, whose injuries were too critical for our hospital to treat with what little resources we had. Erick had been engulfed in a propane fire in his house during the earthquake. He had 35% of his body burned, and was stuck under the rubble for two days. He then spent another three days waiting outside a hospital in Port-au-Prince to be treated, before his family brought him to us. His wife and daughter stayed by his side the entire time, comforting him and nursing his wounds until we were able to get him airlifted to the USS Comfort to receive proper treatment. None of these people deserved this, but they don’t dwell on that; they go on.
In the midst of this emergency situation, I witnessed firsthand the success of MedShare’s operations. When donations from some organizations came in, I saw medical professionals having to take time away from the patients to sort and organize the various medical products. In contrast, MedShare donations would arrive and go immediately to use, because they were already sorted, labeled and ready to go. We get needed medical supplies into the hands of physicians, and it made me proud to know that our staff, donors and volunteers helped make all this happen.
I’m going to be emotionally processing the 10 life-changing days I spent in Haiti for weeks and months to come. As for how we can continue to help, I see where MedShare can have a pivotal role in the rebuilding of Haiti. It’s time to continue our efforts and assess how we can use our skills and resources to have the greatest impact on reestablishing a new, quality health system in Haiti.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

A Good Link For Pictures of Jimani

Nadia's Delivery - by Dr. Merryman

Dr. Duroseau and I initially met Nadia on our first mission trip to Haiti last October. We worked together in the mountains of Noyeau with Friends of Haiti; seeing 2000 patients in 5 days. Nadia was an interpreter and pregnant. Carol Ritter had known her from previous trips and began planning to have her deliver in the US. She asked if we would do the delivery and provide her care. Thus began the journey. Upon arriving home, we all wrote letters in support of her VISA to no avail.

Then the horrific tragedy occurred. The Ritters left for the DR to work on the border. Dr. Duroseau followed. They got Nadia to the border. Only after this tragedy and the extraordinary efforts of the Ritters did the VISA come through. She returned to the US with them. I was reunited with Nadia last Thursday when Dr. Natalie Blagowidow performed her sonogram. I knew the basics of her history; 36-37 weeks, previous C-section and fibroid tumors. Nothing could have prepared me for the picture on the sonogram. Dr.'s Duroseau, Ritter, and I were shocked to see an 18 cm fibroid tumor enveloping the front wall and left side of the uterus. The remainder of the front wall of the uterus was covered on the inside by placenta. The bladder was skewed to the right and the head was wedged behind the fibroid.

On Monday Nadia had an amniocentesis for lung maturity. Later that evening we got the news that the lungs were O.K. and we were on for Tuesday. Over the previous days I had given extensive thought to the surgical approach; strongly considering the need for Cesarean hysterectomy. We prepared Nadia that she may well lose her uterus. Until I made the incision, I was not at all certain how we would get the baby out of this grossly distorted uterus.
I had to make a large vertical skin incision. After getting into the abdomen all we could see was fibroid. I had to extend the incision so that I could palpate the uterus. I started to manipulate the fibroid and it began to peel off the uterus. We keep dissecting until we were uncomfortable about its attachments to underlying blood vessels. With Dr. Duroseau pulling up the uterus, and Dr. Ritter deflecting the fibroid far to the left, I found a spot on the uterus to make my incision. I delivered the head with difficulty but it ran directly into the fibroid making the delivery of the shoulders our biggest challenge. We delivered a healthy baby boy. We then delivered the placenta and closed the uterus. The fibroid was a large parasitic mass on the anterior abdominal wall. After much dissection it came free. The uterus looked relatively normal and the blood loss was as expected. We finished the case without any problems.

With the current state of medical care in Haiti, I am convinced that Nadia and/or the baby could have been lost if she delivered there. To all those who made it possible I salute you. Everyone rose to the occasion in support of our goal to provide Nadia the safest delivery; from the nursing staff, to the anesthesiologist Dr. Tom Pesar, to Dr. Blagowidow and her staff, to our department chairman Dr. Khouzami, and finally to the hospital administration. Dr. Ritter, Dr. Duroseau, and I all trained at GBMC and did our residency under Dr. Khouzami. I have spent my entire twenty year career at this hospital and I consider it my second home and the staff, my family.

A Report From Doctors Still On The Front

A team of Creighton doctors and nurses that returned from Haiti described a horrific scene but a scene they'd return to without hesitation."There was pain and suffering everywhere," said Dr. Tommy Lee. The team spoke to the media Wednesday afternoon.The tired group, Omaha's first team to the country after the earthquake, said its members pulled 15-hour days.Team members said they helped about 800 patients in 10 days. Between 20 and 30 percent of the patients were children, said Dr. Brian Loggie. Most of the care involved performing surgeries, amputations and dressing wounds.Loggie said the conditions upon their arrival were primitive. Medical supplies were limited. Amputations were being performed without narcotics."I mean it was Civil War, bite-the-bullet stuff," Loggie said.The group hit the ground running from the moment they got there, members said, but they still felt helpless before the crowds of injured."We would have patients back in the same rooms two to three minutes later ready to cut off more limbs," said nurse anesthetist Timothy Glidden. "It was something we've never seen."As conditions improved, the health of some victims didn't. Creighton nurse Theresa Keefe -- nicknamed Mother Theresa -- struggled with the huge number of suffering children."Crying out, crying out for help, in pain -- that was tough," Keefe said.Despite it all, they said they'd return."I don't know about tomorrow. I need some sleep. But we'd go back," Keefe said.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

New Baby Is Here! A Message From Gaetan's Daddy

UNEDITED VIA SMS/ TXT: Dear Dr. Tom and Dr. Carol - I don't find the appropriate words to thank you but I thank God that He put you in our way. I know there are good doctors in the USA - you and your team are the best in the world. I knew Nadia had a pregnancy with a very high risk but with your expertise and your know-how, you have succeeded the mrs, the team and anyone who help us for grace of you, my sweetie and my baby are safe and healthy. So I thank Lord . Once again thank you. - Manesse

Baby Gaetan 7.6 lbs 21.5"
Mother and child doing great after very difficult surgery. Everything went well.