Our Advance Team in the Philippines continues to do great, exhaustive work providing healthcare for people in the typhoon disaster zone. They began in Ormoc City and recently moved to Tacloban (pictured above), the city worst hit by Haiyan/Yolanda.
The three-person Advance Team has now been bolstered with the addition of almost a dozen medical volunteers from across the US.
Recently, we featured some personal thoughts and observations from Sue Mangicaro, RN and Dr. Rick Randolph – the two medical professionals on our Advance Team. After treating dozens upon dozens of patients each day, they still have had the stamina to write down some of what they’re experiencing.
Here now, the most recent dispatch from Dr. Rick Randolph…
RICK: We held clinic in an evacuee center near the waterfront in Tacloban, after moving from a makeshift clinic in a church as the patient volume was a little sparse. The patients in the evacuation center were grateful but without major physical pathology. We did see a fair number of people with insomnia and stress. Two families had lost family members. One came in with complaints of insomnia and shoulder pain.
I always ask what happened to them during the typhoon. This one woman had lost her son and two grandchildren. According to a pastor, the son was kind and treated his mother well. However, he wanted to stay with his home near the waterfront to protect their possessions despite the pleas of his mother. He and his house were swept away along with two of his children. This woman was able to escape and held two small grandchildren on her shoulders. We could treat the pain in her shoulders, but we couldn’t heal her heart.
After clinic, we took a tour of the waterfront. It was still a mass of wreckage and debris. There were children playing and laughing, although the smell of rot was pervasive. The views were stunning but after a while, you just felt a little numb.
As we took a cleared street back, we passed the body of a baby. There was a small cross constructed from sticks and the body was covered with a mat. We asked some people standing nearby about the baby’s body. They said that the body had probably been recovered from the wreckage and dropped off along the road.
One of us commented that it was sad that the parents had lost a baby and didn’t know where the body was. The bystanders said that the parents were probably dead too. I no longer felt numb, I felt a little sick…
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