LES CAYES, HAITI — When a 7.2 magnitude earthquake rocked western Haiti the morning of August 14, more than 2,000 people were killed and over 12,000 were injured. Healthcare services on that part of the island were also incapacitated. Samaritan’s Purse immediately responded to the tragedy, airlifting tons of critical relief supplies, including plastic tarp for shelter, water filtration systems, and an Emergency Field Hospital aboard our DC-8 cargo plane.
Their 36-bed mobile trauma unit opened on August 21 in Les Cayes, the major city nearest the earthquake’s epicenter. Over 31 days, they treated more than 3,400 patients, including 125 surgical cases. Many of the surgeries saved the limbs and lives of trauma patients in the area–especially from the hard-hit neighboring town of Maniche. Les Cayes typically has 10 operating rooms, but that number was slashed to three after the earthquake hit.
Their medical team brought physical relief to patients, while also sharing God’s love with them and letting them know that He has not forgotten them.
Nick Bechert – Samaritan’s Purse:
The people of Haiti desperately need our prayers. They need our support. With limited health care after the earthquake, Haiti’s a challenging environment. We had teams working day and night and were able to set up the emergency field hospital in just three days.
Shannon Hamilton, PA-C – Samaritan’s Purse:
We’re here in Les Cayes, which is one of the focal points that was really hit hardest by the earthquake. A lot of people were injured in the initial earthquake– some very serious injuries– and so it was really important that we bring in the surgical field hospital; and orthopedic and general surgeons save their limbs, and honestly, often save their lives.
I was not at home when the earthquake happened, nor was my husband. When I returned home, I found that my oldest child was dead. He was only two years old. The house had fallen on him.
Melanie Wubs, RN – Samaritan’s Purse:
Even one week out from the earthquake, we’ve been seeing patients here today– everyone from a small child to orthopedic and trauma-related injuries. This is the first time a lot of people have been able to access healthcare.
I asked my father how he was treated and he said, “Very well.” He still has his foot, but cannot feel it. The doctor is helping him regain feeling over time. I accepted Jesus Christ after the earthquake. The chaplains told me there was no need to worry and asked if I believe in God. I said “Yes, very much.” The chaplains prayed with me and I believed with all my heart. I don’t have the words to say thank you. May God bless them for what they have done here.
Pierre Julien – Samaritan’s Purse:
This is the spirit of Samaritan’s Purse: we share Christ’s love. Our action reflects the love of God. They’re doing it out of love. And you know what I say– the seeds of love never die. They will produce a harvest.
Thank you for coming to help after the earthquake. We would not have been able to do this on our own.
We offer aid in the Name of Jesus, and we let people know that there is hope. In this life there’s pain and suffering, but there’s a Savior that loves them. There’s a Savior that suffers with them to the point that He died on a cross. And so we can offer them that hope– that one day, there will be a place where there is no more pain and there is no more suffering– through the blood of Jesus Christ.
Samaritan’s Purse is a nondenominational evangelical Christian organization providing spiritual and physical aid to hurting people around the world. Since 1970, Samaritan’s Purse has helped meet the needs of people who are victims of war, poverty, natural disasters, disease, and famine with the purpose of sharing God’s love through His Son, Jesus Christ. The organization serves the Church worldwide to promote the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.
The Samaritan’s Purse International Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) program is committed to meeting the critical needs of victims of war, poverty, famine, disease, and natural disaster. We stand ready to respond at a moment’s notice whenever and wherever disaster strikes. The DART specializes in providing water, food, shelter, and medical care while sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ.
CONTACT: Kaitlyn Lahm, firstname.lastname@example.org