PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — Aside from food and water, one of the biggest needs in the days following a massive earthquake in Haiti is for medical personnel and supplies.
A second team from Forest Park Medical Center in Dallas arrived in the island nation's capital city Sunday afternoon to assist with recovery from Tuesday's quake.
The small business jet took off from Dallas Love Field Sunday morning, loaded with 5,000 items to help the 24 doctors from the hospital who arrived in Port-au-Prince on Saturday.
Doctors set up a tent outside Sacred Heart Hospital in the devastated capital city, where they had already helped almost 200 patients by Sunday afternoon by the time the fresh supplies and personnel arrived.
"We were totally out this morning," said Dr. Richard Toussaint. "We got not just supplies, but we got equipment sets to do amputations, to do laparoscopies."
Earthquake victims Violecte Similen and her sister had walked to four hospitals from Petion-ville, a Port-au-Prince suburb, but couldn't find any care for a wounded toddler; they finally found it at the Forest Park outdoor clinic.
A woman lying on the pavement outside the hospital was in critical condition, waiting for doctors to amputate her right arm. Without the procedure, she will die. She was put on a waiting list.
Dr. Toussaint and his team of doctors and nurses had prepared themselves mentally for what they would encounter. "There's a lot of open wounds, unfortunately there's amputations — you name it, it's there," said Derrick Evers, a Forest Park Medical Center executive.
"We're a very small piece of the puzzle," said Bert Lee, who piloted the mercy mission. "But even then, it's making a difference for a whole bunch of people that otherwise would really be in a world of hurt."
Forest Park Medical Center welcomes financial contributions to its Haiti relief effort at this address:
Forest Park Medical Center
Attn: Becca Sills
11990 North Central Expressway
Dallas, TX 75243
Checks should be made out to Forest Park Medical Center. Officials at the hospital say they do not need any volunteers at this time and cannot offer transport to the disaster zone.