A Chicagoan In Haiti

« Landed in Santo Domingo

Going to Haiti

Cheryl Reed

I'm senior editor for publications at the Unversity of Chicago Medical Center and I'm following a team of doctors, nurses and physical therapists to the field hospital we help run outside of Port-au-Prince.


The tent hospital in Fond Parisien in Haiti where a team from the University of Chicago Medical Center is caring for earthquake survivors.

Less than 18 hours from liftoff to Haiti, and I'm packing my bags, taking my anti-malaria tablets and thinking of buying moth balls to deter the rats at the tent hospital in Fond Parisien where I'm headed. I'm traveling with doctors, nurses and physical therapists from the University of Chicago Medical Center where I work as an in-house journalist.

Medical Center docs and nurses have been taking care of Haitian earthquake survivors since late January. The camp site in Fond Parisien is fairly primitive. On the site of an orphanage, the medical camp sprouted up when several medical teams from various teaching hospitals, including UCMC, converged to care for the injured. The hospital is about 30 miles from Port-au-Prince and the injured are flown or bused in.

I got an informal debriefing from a female pharmacist yesterday who went down two weeks ago and established the country's first pharmacy. She said the mosquitoes were as big as birds and that she was still recovering from mosquito bites, displaying scars on her arm. She also said that I shouldn't expect to take a shower because there's no such thing as privacy. The bathrooms that they've rigged up have no doors. Yikes!

Then she told me about the rats...Okay, I'm fairly well-traveled, having been to Africa, Mongolia, China, Siberia and having covered political unrest in Eastern European countries while they were still Communist. But, rats?

Okay. The scary moment has passed. I'm thinking of the Haitians and what they are living through now that they are about to enter the wet season. So many have lost everything. I hope to bring you the stories and pictures of those whose lives we intersect with in Haiti.

So, stay tuned. The adventure is only just beginning.



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1 Comment

Ed Monroe R.Ph said:

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I am please to find your blog. There are many of us who fo to Haiti on a regular basis to our medical clinic in Cyvadier. The Friends of the Children of Haiti (www.fotcoh.org) January team has recently returned and our March mission is about to depart. I look forward to your posts.

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