Northwestern Memorial Hospital Clinicians Reflect on their Experiences in Haiti
Read first-hand stories and view pictures of relief efforts
The earthquake that struck Haiti in mid January lasted 35 seconds but the devastation will be felt for a life time. When news broke about the 7.0 magnitude earthquake, people across the world wondered how they could help. As an organization, Northwestern Memorial Hospital rallied together to help the people of Haiti by gathering supplies and collecting donations. More than four dozen clinicians from Northwestern Memorial and Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine also volunteered their time and personal finances to travel to Haiti. Here are some of their stories.
Rahul Khare, MD, Emergency Medicine
Rahul Khare, MD knew in his heart that going to Haiti was simply the right thing to do. As an emergency department physician he is trained to care for the most critically injured patients and knew he could help at the ground level. Three weeks after the devastation struck, Khare was on a plane to Haiti.
Khare spent 15 days in Haiti building tent hospitals and caring for the most critically injured patients, most of whom suffered from severe dehydration, shock due to blood loss, crush injuries and infected wounds. Khare explained that the severe deficit of clean water and healthcare workers had caused simple wounds to be compounded into severe medical conditions.
As Khare’s trip drew to an end he saw positive change as the Haitian physicians began transitioning back into the hospitals to care for their people. Khare left Haiti with mixed emotions of hope, fear, inspiration, and appreciation. View pictures from Khare’s trip and read more about his experience.
Anne Marie Colby, RN, Labor & Delivery
Anne Marie Colby, RN, traveled to Haiti with a group of 23 medical professionals that arrived nine days after the earthquake. She spent her first 42 hours in Haiti on her feet, caring for some of the most seriously wounded patients she had ever seen.
Anne Marie describes her journey as a powerful experience and wants to share it with others so they may understand what the devastation has meant for the people of Haiti. Despite their personal tragedies, Anne Marie says the patients were wonderful and have changed her life forever.
In a diary that Anne Marie kept during the seven days she spent in Haiti, she describes her candid moments with the children of Haiti and writes about a special bond she shared with one child in particular. Read her entries and learn more about her life-changing journey.
Eric Mizuno, MD, Internal Medicine
When Eric Mizuno, MD heard about the earthquake, he knew he had to help, and started planning right away. Mizuno was able to secure transportation to Haiti and was placed with a medical missions’ team through Vision of Hope Ministries.
Mizuno traveled to Haiti armed with supplies and food that were graciously donated from people throughout Chicago. When Mizuno and team arrived, they quickly turned a nearby school into a hospital and began treating patients, many of whom were suffering from deep wounds and infections.
Mizuno was amazed by the strength of the Haitian people during the five days he spent in their country, and expressed deep gratitude for the work he shared with physicians from across the globe. Learn more about his mission.
How You Can Help
All of the Northwestern Memorial volunteers have come back with one message – the devastation will continue, and there is still a great need. Learn more about how you can help the people of Haiti through the American Red Cross.