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El Paso Doctors In Haiti: Reinforcements Finally Arrive

El Paso, Texas – Dr. Marco Diaz and Dr. Leonardo Loaiza, both assistant professors at Texas Tech University Health Science Center Paul L. Foster School of Medicine, are in Haiti to help victims of last week’s earthquake.

The doctors of medicine, who were contacted by the U.S. Coast Guard to help, arrived in Haiti at the beginning of this week.

Diaz sent this emailto ABC-7 late Thursday describing more aftershocks, a tour of the city, and the resiliency of the Haitian people:

“Today finally brought the arrival of reinforcements. Late in the evening we received two large groups of mostly non-surgical physicians.

Up until now there were only three managing all non-surgical, emergency and post-operative care continuously for four days Although a tremendous learning opportunity, most of us had been running on only a few hours of sleep.We did experience a very small aftershock this afternoon which I personally did not appreciate. However, the Haitians quickly began to evacuate frantically once again. Fortunately, this time we were able to obtain rapid organization and quickly pause the chaos before complete panic arose once again. The over-heightened senses of the Haitians (has them traumatized). Afterwards, the women all joined together in prayer with there arms outstretched to the sky, all moving insync.This fear has led to great difficulties maintaining adequate nursing personnel with many nurses simply refusing to report and leaving during their shift. As a result, I was manning the ER solo last night. Quite an intense experience!We also managed to leave the hospital for a short tour of the city. While not in the epicenter, the tour did take us to streets and homes of some of the youth who volunteer in the hospital. It was amazing to see the resilience of these kids as they laughed and jokingly bullied each other in what was left of their collapsed homes.

It was as if there was no time to shed a tear. No one appears to be focusing on the quake. They seem to be going on with their lives as usual. In fact, the streets were heavily congested with pedestrians.

When asked about the future of his country, a young Haitian man proudly stood up to say ‘I must stand to answer such a question. My country WILL recover and be better than ever before.’As I write this we just had another aftershock. I must run to check on the patients. We are okay. Keep you informed.”

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