The first of two medical teams from Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center has returned from Haiti. The doctors and nurses went to help earthquake victims.
"I can speak for all of us that none of us experienced anything close to what we just saw in Haiti, even with overseas deployments," said Michael Hawkins, a nurse anesthetist. "I think it will take time for things to settle in."
"I have mixed feelings," said Kevin Armstrong, a registered nurse. "Part of me is very thankful to be American and be home and have the plentiful life that we have here, then part of me feels sort of embarrassed for any time that I have been impatient in the grocery line or was impatient about anything really when you look at what people live with day to day in Haiti."
"To bring our experience down there where very, very basic needs such as water and electricity, which we always take for granted, are not available was very, very difficult for us," Dr. Philip Bernini said.
"It is hard to describe how much this country needs and one of my hopes is that we can continue this effort long after it is out of the media," said Christopher O'Connell, a registered nurse. "This is real important to try to rebuild this country. Haiti had very little to begin with and now it has next to nothing."
"We were both amazed and humbled," said Dr. Rajan Gupta, the team leader. "Amongst the pain and suffering and just sort of despair, we saw signs of strength, resiliency and hope."
"They still had this amazing resilience to be able to continue to smile," Dr. Anthony Albert said. "They were very grateful to have any sort of help; not only the patients themselves, but also the health care workers. They were very grateful to have an American presence to help them in this devastating time of need."
The team went to Haiti with the group Partners in Health. That's a nonprofit co-founded by Dartmouth College President Jim Yong Kim.
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