Dr. Stephen Daane, a pediatric plastic surgeon at Children's Hospital & Research Center Oakland, will soon be spending his nights sleeping on the floor in an operating room under a mosquito net in Port-au-Prince.
He's one of 14 doctors, nurses and respiratory therapists who are flying out of SFO to Haiti tonight on a 10-day medical trip to provide on-going care to victims of the January earthquake. Global Healing, a nonprofit based in Berkeley, is funding the trip.
Dr. Daane will be working at Adventist Hospital. "It's cracked, but it's still standing. It's a little two-operating-room hospital, and we're going to do as much surgery as we can," he said. "We're going to take the whole place over and run it for a week until the next group comes."
With so many quake victims having suffered injuries from cinderblocks, he expects to spend a lot of time revising amputations. "They couldn't get any medical care, or they couldn't close [the wound] up because it was infected," he explained. "You're basically tidying things up, freshening things up." While he'd like to treat children, the group will provide care to adults as well. "They line up outside the door, and you can't say no," he said.
Daane will be heading to the airport tonight with all the food he'll need to eat during the trip, a water purifier and his clothes packed in a 40-pound carry-on. The team is also traveling with 35 huge boxes of medicine and medical supplies. They'll be chronicling their trip online on the Children's Hospital site.
If you happen to be at SFO tonight and see the group, who will be wearing blue T-shirts, wish them God speed.