- Posted December 17, 2010 by
Cite Soleil, Haiti
This iReport is part of an assignment:
when will this end?
- ccostello3, CNN iReport producer
One day, I hope to iReport that cholera has left the areas that we have treatment centers in.
That day is not today.
It rained this week in Haiti. Rain is an enemy in our fight against cholera, carrying the bacteria as it moves across the ground. We hear it's going to rain again this weekend. Lord, help us.
Our numbers almost doubled overnight in Bercy this week. In Cite Soleil, we saw our busiest day yet, with over 90 patients. We are admitting them almost as fast as we are discharging.
So many sick kids. Many of them are alone., their parents unavailable, uninterested or afraid. Children aren't meant to battle this alone. You can see this in these photos.
Yesterday I met Jean Baptiste, a big yellow balloon, a smile-less face. He and his brother were brought in from a nearby orphanage with two others. "The kids are starting to get sick... can you help us?" the caregiver asked before handing the children over, limp and unresponsive. "I need to get back to the other children." One of our nurses said they were so sick, she thought she would watch them die. They didn't. Today they were still recovering.
I met Evenson today, his head hanging near a bucket. His sorrowful look caught my eye. He had been vomiting all day, unable to keep anything down. His brother, only a few years older, tried to comfort him. "Where's mama?" I ask. A shrug accompanied the answer. "The house, maybe." A distance look filled his eyes. His saddness ran deep. Our nurses and doctors were by his side all day, beckoning a smile, a drop of joy, to come out.
In triage I find an elderly man who was carried in by his granddaughter. He is 100 years old. He can barely talk, he has no teeth. But in his tired eyes, you can tell he's a fighter. His hands, weathered and wrinkled, tell the story of his years. What would they say if they could talk? The things he must have experienced in Haiti this past century...and now, cholera.
These are the fighters of Cite Soleil.. young and old they find their way to our clinic.
When wil it end? Two months in... our Samaritan's Purse clinics have treated well over 4,000 people. Each with a story, many carrying with them more than just cholera-- heartache, loneliness, pain.
I realized today again, as I have many times before, what a source of refuge our clinics are... because it is here that the kindness and gentleness of strangers come alive. In an environment of compassion, healing thrives here. Children who are left alone, the elderly who are carried in, find more than just rehydration under our tents.
We have a deep fondness for the people of Cite Soleil, their struggles continue to draw us in. They are the reason we are here, the reason we stay.
We will continue working 24 hours a day treating the people of Cite Soleil until this ends.. and will keep telling these stories until this is over. It's part of the bigger story of Haiti, of a remarkable people who have overcome time and time again.
To those of you who listen, thank you...