Today with Kara

From Dorothy in Port au Prince January 15, 2010

Filed under: haiti — Kara Baker @ 8:15 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

Dorothy runs the home that cares for my baby, Herode:

We survived the earthquake, all of us.  PRAISE GOD!!!!!!
Amanda, Natasha and I were just arriving at Sacred Heart Hospital (CDTI) near what we think was the strongest area of the quake.   Jesula, our nanny who had been with Poutchino at the hospital, was collapsing on the ground outside, in shock.  Natasha ran inside for Poutchino.  We parked the car.  A man carried Jesula to the car.  She was frozen with fear.
Hospital patients were brought outside, injured people came in thru the gate.  All hospital personnel worked thru the night and next day with barely a break.  Amanda and I took turns holding a flashlight for a surgeon stitching wounds and gradually learned how to do more.  Natasha had to stay in the car holding Poutchino. 
Some people were beyond help:  the doctors gave them medicines for pain and treated those they could help.  I counted about 40 people who died during the 24 hours we were there, all ages.  Security manned the gate, only letting in the injured people that the doctor felt they could help.
Generators lit the parking lot.  It seemed like a scene from hell with all the moans and screams and cries for help and the ground covered with injured people and blood.  People panicked at every aftershock.  Burns were the worst injuries but thankfully few. 
Communications were cut off — no one could find out about the rest of their loved ones.  We had to try hard not to imagine the terribles thing that might have happened to our children and staff.  Rumors trickled in about the buildings that had crashed.  A rumor started that a tsunami was coming and we had to leave. 
Heroes were everywhere.   Groups of people sang and prayed and praised God for sparing so many.   Doctors and nurses barely stopped to rest thru the night and well into the next day.  Pain pills and shots were given freely.  Every injured person got a shot of ampicillin.  I gave shots, too.  The hospital emptied its shelves, giving everything they had to help people.  The strong carried the weak.  Everyone comforted everyone else.  People walked around praying for others.  Two people scoured the streets for anything that could be used as splints.  I am still amazed and glad that I had donated blood just that morning!    We saw God working in us and all around us. 
We finally were able to leave the hospital Wednesday afternoon, bring Poutchino with us.  Collapsed buildings, wrecked and crushed cars, blood and bodies were everywhere.  Coming home was such a blessing!  No one was injured, the house was intact!  Hallelujah!  sweet relief!     
Praise God we had just received new supplies of antibiotics.  We gave most of them plus a lot of gauze and tape, tylenol and ibuprofen, needles, and IV sypplies to a clinic set up in our neighborhood.  We had a little bit left over to give to Healing Hands this morning, and sent home some gauze and soap with a nanny for her injured grandmother.
Poutchino definitely had meningitis but there was no more infection by the time the CSF was tested.  Considering the chaos at the hospital we brought him home with us.  His abdominal pain is completely gone.  He can eat again. I give him 1 gram of ceftriaxone every 12 hours hoping to keep the meningitis from returning.  Infection could be hiding in his shunt.  An operation to remove the shunt would be difficult to get now.   
For those of you who know our staff, Claudia’s leg is broken and her house destroyed.  Jesula and her family are safe but their house was destroyed and they are staying here.  Leonne’s home was destroyed and she is staying here.  Eva’s house was destroyed but she has another place to stay.  Suzette’s house was destroyed:  she can’t come to work.  Rosemanie is fine. Bébé was thrown from a truck during the earthquake and was injured but is doing okay. She was on her way to work the overnight shift.  The other ladies who were here took care of everything.  They worked very very hard.  Our staff is fantastic!
Both of our usual grocery stores, Caribbean and One Stop, were destroyed.  We haven’t heard what happened to the people inside.  Those were the only places we could cash checks.  Gas stations arent open yet.  We heard that Sherrie Fausey’s building partially collapsed and one child was killed.  Sherrie and Julie are fine.  Karen Bultje and her kids are fine.  Nikki, who went to live with Roberta, was killed by a falling wall.  Roberta and all other children are okay.  Pastor CJ came by this morning to see if we were okay.  He said Pastor Leny and his family are okay.  Pastor Genada called.  They were in Port au Prince during the quake and a block fell on his daughter’s leg.  They had to go all the way back to Gonaives to get help for her.  Karen Bultje is still being an angel of mercy for as long as her diesel fuel holds out:  she brought us several cases of pop tarts so we have breakfast for a while.  Dottie was temporarily trapped in her house but is okay now.  Nickson and Ivens and their families are okay.  Deedee, the Boyers and the Olssons are okay.  Barb Lataillade’s foot was nearly amputated.  The U.S. military got her out to Jacksonville, Florida for care..  Our pediatrician called to check on us. 
Phones are starting to work again but not yet normally..  Helicopters are flying overhead all the time, and small planes.  The U.S. military is running the airport now.  Civilian flights are all canceled.  UN police are in charge of security.  Not much is seen of Haitian police, I don’t know why.  I expect, hope, that relief supplies will come in soon.  Our biggest concerns at the moment are cooking fuel and water.
We all are fighting shock, trying not to be overwhelmed with grief and horror.  I am trying to plan without being overwhelmed with worry.  PRAYER AND PRAISES REALLY WORK TO KEEP SPIRIT UP!  Remembering what God has already done in protecting and providing for us reassures me that He will continue to provide for our needs.   I am so thank Natasha and Amanda were with me at the hospital and that Natasha can stay here for a while to help.
I have heard that maybe 100,000 people died.  I can believe it based on what I have seen.  I heard that the earthquake was 7.3 on the Richter scale. We need news from outside but please keep emails strictly to news.  We have to use our precious supplies of gasoline to get online.  Since we have no place to cash checks I have to work with Christian Light Foundation to find a way to get money to us.
Please pray for all of us in Haiti and for all those sending and bringing help.


3 Responses to “From Dorothy in Port au Prince”

  1. Becky Says:

    Hi, not sure if you would remember us, my parents were good friends with yours way back (in Illinois). We are the Copelins. This is Becky. We have been wondering and praying for your family. I have been frantically googling and trying to find out if they were okay. Thank you so much for posting that they are!!! I’m going to call my mom, Ann and sister, Molly to let them know. Have a great day.

    • xapa21 Says:

      Of course I remember you! We stayed at your house when Kyle was sick, and I’m pretty sure you threw a birthday party for me that summer. Dad and Mom are doing great. If you want to contact them, let me know and I can get you their email. God bless and thank you for your concern and prayers!

      • Becky Says:

        Yep, you’re right. I’ve thought about you all often over the years and wondered how each of you kids are doing. I found the website to Kenny’s church while googling your parents. It would be nice to have your parent’s e-mail. You can e-mail me at
        Still praying for your family.


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