Message 5

Day 5: Thursday: This was by far our busiest day - as if the people of St. Bernard's again discovered that we were here. We served over 154 patients and gave over 200 shots! A VERY busy day! What did we see? Infected hands, infected feet - we even saw a man who had been out to his home and whose neck was lacerated when one of the walls fell down on him. A prison guard who came by to get a shot gave us a bit of a fright when she passed out after getting her shot, but she's fine.

A teacher from a school somewhere in St. Bernard's Parish came by after she'd gone to the school. She was suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome and broke down sobbing in the clinic. She clearly wasn't capable as of yet of returning to work, but we didn't have anyone who was properly trained to diagnose her and to be able to give her a diagnosis that would allow her to not return to work. Fortunately, someone from the Red Cross came by, and through some connections they had, we were able to get this woman in touch with a psychiatrist who was willing to see her and talk with her right away and who was able to diagnose her properly and give her the diagnosis so she could have some more time to recover from her trauma before she had to return to work. Because this doctor was able to give her that diagnosis, she'll be paid for the additional time she needs to get better.

The people we've seen here are all so grateful just to be alive. We only have one more day here - and we are all feeling like we wish we could just stay. It will be so hard to pack up and leave on Friday night. We know that we are the last of the 4 scheduled teams to come here and work in this location. We can't help but wonder: will there be other teams? Who will help to care for these people who have so many deep and profound needs? What will happen to them? It brings us tears to consider that we'll have to leave, and we're already talking about how and when we might be able to come back and serve here again.