We just completed a medical mission trip to Haiti–Feb 2010.  Over the next few days, I would like to share stories in regard to the mission trip to Jacmel, Haiti.      

Devastation brought by the recent earthquake in Haiti has been met with an outpouring of support from the world. Cleveland and Bradley county residents stepped forward to do a part in that effort pulling together to send a medical/surgical mission team to Cayes-Jacmel, Haiti. From donated medications, tents, food supplies, drawn ‘praying for you cards’ to hand made beenie babies; love was demonstrated by Bradley Team Angel to the Haitian people–southern style.        

Many of the recent news articles report the devastation to Port au Prince [the capital of Haiti] in the aftermath of the major earthquake. Yet, Jacmel, a port city of approximated 150,000 on the southern coast of Haiti , was only 40 miles from the epicenter of the quake sustaining substantial damage greater in proportion than Port au Prince.       

 On 12 January 2010, Haiti experienced a magnitude 7.0 earthquake that caused heavy damage and casualties not only to the capital city Port au Prince; but also to Jacmel. The first tremblor rocked Jacmel at 4:40pm, but the later tremblor at 5:37pm was so intense that it stopped the  Jacmel cathedral’s clock. A Jacmel radio station estimated at least 5000  dead.        

Many homes and businesses sustained structural damage. More than 70% of concrete buildings will need to be destroyed.

  

In the earthquake around 70% of the homes were damaged in Jacmel,  with most of the heavier damage being suffered in the poorer  neighborhoods of the city. A small tidal wave hit Jacmel Bay, with the ocean receding, leaving fish high and dry on the sand of the seafloor,  and rushing back in, four times in the wake of the earthquake.       

  Relief efforts to Jacmel had been slow because of the lack of supplies and focus on the capital Port-au-Prince. Surrounded by steep mountains and bounded by the ocean, Jacmel remains isolated from aid pouring in from around the world to Haiti.      

    

Even before the massive earthquake, Haiti was the poorest 3rd World Country in the Western Hemisphere.

       

 The small, 1 km (3,300 ft) airstrip in Jacmel is too small to process the larger C-17 aircraft that are used to flight in supplies. The sea port is shallow, and is not large enough to handle freighters; so supplies must be ferried to the shore and back again-a time consuming process.       

     

BRADLEY TEAM ANGEL——After hearing news of the earthquake; a group friends from Candies Creek Baptist Church communicating by social networks began to prepare for a mission trip to Haiti. Spear headed by Dr. James White and Brian Shoemaker a six person team was assembled. Two General Surgeons; James White, MD, FACS and Vince Gardner, MD, FACS, Medical/surgical nurse; Cristy Tuttle, RN, Communications Brian Shoemaker, Logistics coordinators and general helpers Alan Blackburn and Brent Clayton. Via Facebook, the team sought mission opportunities in Haiti and/or the Dominican Republic leaving the path open to God‘s direction. The team was joined by Emergency Critical Care Nurse; Cindi Burtnett, RN while already on mission in Haiti. After searching the internet, Dr. White was contacted by Go Ministries in the Dominican Republic. Doors were opened and the need for medical/surgical help was clearly evident in Jacmel, Haiti.