An update from Carol Fipp, an aid worker with The Hôpital Sacré Coeur in Milot, Haiti. Fipp wrote to us on Sunday, frustrated with how slowly their waiting hospital was receiving patients from Port-au-Prince.
We received five helicopter deliveries of 12 patients today. We had four U.S. Coast Guard airlifts and one Navy airlift. It's definitely an increase from yesterday, but we can still handle many more. It is an improvement, but the current effort is still inadequate; many more people are stranded in Port-Au-Prince, in dire need of care, and the clock is ticking. Our biggest obstacle is the lack of helicopters. Our surgical teams did 16 procedures today, operating until 11:30 PM tonight, and we have six surgeries scheduled for tomorrow morning. We expect the airlifts to increase, and expect possibly two bus loads of injured from Port-au-Prince — a 75 mile ride, which takes six-eight hours over rough roads.
We were able to scale up from two operating rooms to four ORs. The U.N. is present at the heliport (soccer field!) to maintain order for helicopter arrivals. The local residents of Milot have been enthusiastic to support the effort in every way possible: offering their homes to families of patients from Port-au-Prince and filling potholes in the road so the ambulance will have a smoother ride from the field to the airport. The schools adjacent to the hospital have been converted into additional space for patient beds. Notice in the photos: chalkboards on the walls and make-shift beds created from rearranged school desks.
Attached is a labeled aerial photo from Google Earth. Please excuse the crudeness of the writing — I did it on the fly for the military, which was asking for coordinates and visuals for landing.
The other photos speak for themselves. This is a disaster of catastrophic proportions. Please keep the injured patients and the medical teams, who are working to save them around the clock, in your prayers.