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Archive for Wednesday, February 3, 2010

On a mission to help Haiti

Nurse sees courage in ravaged country

February 3, 2010

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Local nurse returns from Haiti

A Lawrence nurse returned from her medical trip to Haiti. The medical professional said she brought back many amazing stories from the experience. Enlarge video

Lawrence nurse returns from Haiti mission

Lawrence Memorial Hospital nurse Karin Feltman spent the past week in Haiti on a medical mission to help as many earthquake victims as she could. Enlarge video

With only a garden shovel, a man attempted to dig through a giant pile of concrete rubble as the Caribbean sun lowered behind him.

For Lawrence Memorial Hospital nurse Karin Feltman, the magnitude of that man’s task was echoed in the kaleidoscope of images she saw throughout Haiti.

“It is going to be years and years and years — even with the level of help that is going on right now — for them to rebuild,” Feltman said of the country’s road toward recovery after last month’s devastating earthquake.

On Tuesday evening, just hours after her plane landed in Kansas City and with her bags still in the living room, Feltman sat at home and talked about her weeklong medical mission trip to Haiti.

Her first full day in the country included the sound of nearby gunfire as security troops fired into the air to control crowds that were rioting during food drop-offs.

The trip ended with a 16-hour wait on a hot tarmac for a flight out of Haiti. That flight came in the form of a C-17 Air Force jet. Using cargo straps for seat belts, Feltman and more than 400 other passengers sat on the cold metal bottom of the plane for the two-hour flight to Orlando, Fla.

Working with One Heart Ministries International, Feltman was among a group of Kansas City-area nurses who worked in medical clinics in the tent cities of Carrefour, one of Port-au-Prince’s poorest neighborhoods. The clinics treated around 2,000 people.

Much of what Feltman saw was heartbreaking. Parts of the city still smelled of death and people had built living quarters in the 2- to 3-feet-wide medians along congested roadways. She met a patient who was trapped in rubble for three days. His children had suffocated beneath him.

Feltman also witnessed moments of hope and compassion. Two babies were delivered. One was born in the doorway of a building because the mother was still afraid to go inside a structure.

A 14-year-old girl who had lost several fingers was able to save her thumb. The girl’s injuries hadn’t been treated since the day of the earthquake, but she was afraid her hand would be amputated if she went to a hospital.

“She left with tears streaming down her face, (saying) ‘merci, merci, merci,’” Feltman said.

Feltman helped fill bags of rice, beans, sugar and oil. In all, it was enough to feed 3,200 people.

But it was more than food and medicine Feltman was sharing.

“We can give them hope and we can give them a sense that other people know what they are going through and care about them,” she said.

A 13-year veteran of LMH’s emergency room, Feltman has served on medical mission trips in Mississippi, Kenya, Honduras and Malawi.

Going on 34 hours of no sleep Tuesday evening, Feltman had plans of eating a good dinner at La Familia restaurant, catching a much-needed night of rest and then reporting to work at LMH as a patient advocate in the morning. But she fully intends to return to Haiti some day soon.

“It is exhausting and you are happy to be home,” she said. “But every time I am on the plane (home), I find myself planning where am I going to go next and what am I going to do. Because it really does energize me.”

Comments

John Kyle 4 years, 10 months ago

I don't know Karen but she is my hero today. What a wonderful person to do what she did.

Michelle Fales 4 years, 10 months ago

Karin is a HERO. She is a great friend of mine and is a great person to the entire world. The world could use more Karins.

redmoonrising 4 years, 10 months ago

If only there were more Karin's in this world. What a beautiful thing she has done.

frank mcguinness 4 years, 10 months ago

We need more Karens and less idaho orphan missionaries.

Ryan Wood 4 years, 10 months ago

This is definitely not the first time Karin has traveled elsewhere and offered assistance to those in need. She is a wonderful example for the rest of us.

Kyle Chandler 4 years, 10 months ago

Dear De-publicans and Re-mocrats.

Take a good look at this amazing woman...this is what compassion and selflessness look like.

Beautiful isnt it?

acg 4 years, 10 months ago

Wow I'm in awe because I don't think I could do it. I can't even see pics of it without bawling uncontrollably and wanting to adopt a dozen of them. Karin, my hat is off to you cause you're one hell of a lady!!

bretherite 4 years, 10 months ago

I am fortunate enough to know Karin and can honestly say she is a beautiful human being inside and out. One of the most selfless people I know. The world would be better off if we would all take a page from Karin's book and gave more and took less.

Christine Anderson 4 years, 10 months ago

This is indeed a wonderful thing. I would expect LMH to "hold" Karin's job for her.

Christine Anderson 4 years, 10 months ago

Brain fart. Missed where it said she was back home. Job well done!

Taxpayer 4 years, 10 months ago

From A Retired Special Forces Sgt Major:

To All,

I just returned from Haiti with Hebler. We flew in at 3 AM Sunday to the scene of such incredible destruction on one side, and enormous ineptitude and criminal neglect on the other.

Port o Prince is in ruins. The rest of the country is fairly intact. Our team was a rescue team and we carried special equipment that locates people buried under the rubble. There are easily 200,000 dead, the city smells like a charnel house. The bloody UN was there for 5 years doing apparently nothing but wasting US Taxpayers money. The ones I ran into were either incompetents or outright anti American. Most are French or french speakers, worthless every damn one of them. While 1800 rescuers were ready willing and able to leave the airport and go do our jobs, the UN and USAID ( another organization full of little OBamites and communists that openly speak against Americana) These two organizations exemplified their parochialism by:

  • USAID, when in control of all inbound flights, had food and water flights stacked up all the way to Miami, yet allowed Geraldo Rivera, Anderson Cooper and a host of other left wing news puppies to land.

  • Pulled all the security off the rescue teams so that Bill Clinton and his wife could have the grand tour, whilst we sat unable to get to people trapped in the rubble.

  • Stacked enough food and water for the relief over at the side of the airfield then put a guard on it while we dehydrated and wouldn't release a drop of it to the rescuers.

  • No shower facilities to decontaminate after digging or moving corpses all day, except for the FEMA teams who brought their own shower and decon equipment, as well as air conditioned tents.

  • No latrine facilities, less digging a hole if you set up a toilet everyone was trying to use it.

I watched a 25 year old Obamite with the USAID shrieking hysterically, berate a full bird colonel in the air force, because he countermanded her orders, whilst trying to unscrew the air pattern. " You don't know what your president wants! The military isn't in charge here we are!"

If any of you are thinking of giving money to the Haitian relief, or to the UN don't waste your money. It will only go to further the goals of the French and the Liberal left.

If we are a fair and even society, why is it that only white couples are adopting Haitian orphans. Where the hell is that vocal minority that is always screaming about the injustice of American society.

Bad place, bad situation, but a perfect look at the new world order in action. New Orleans magnified a thousand times. Haiti doesn't need democracy, what Haiti needs is Papa Doc. That's not just my opinion , that is what virtually every Haitian we talked with said. "the French run, the UN treat us the same as when we were a colony", at least Papa Doc ran the country.

stuckinthemiddle 4 years, 10 months ago

very well done, Karin...

too bad someone felt the need to take a political dump in here...

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