| Feb 18, 2010
Every night, our volunteer team in Port-au-Prince meets to debrief the day and plan for the next day. At one of these meetings, Dr. Catrina Funk, a volunteer obstetrician from Gig Harbor, Washington, shared this story.
Dr. Funk worked for several days at Dekini Hospital. She met a woman who was at work when the earthquake struck. Word got back to her that her home had collapsed, and all 17 people inside the building had died in the rubble, including her husband and her 5-year-old son.
Heartbroken, and knowing she could do nothing to save her family, the woman went to Dekini Hospital and offered to help. She threw herself into administrative responsibilities at the hospital, working nonstop for 72 hours, helping the hospital handle the hundreds of people who were injured in the earthquake.
Then friends contacted her to say that a rescue team believed her son was alive. Frantic, she hurried to her home, where a UN backhoe was trying to dig through the piles of concrete to get to her son. The rescue crew had threaded a microphone into the location where her son was trapped, and she talked to him. After hearing his voice, her hope soared. For hours the rescue crew carefully removed slabs of concrete.
When she no longer heard his voice, she began to panic and pressed the rescue crew to act more aggressively in digging out her son.
And then it happened. A large slab of concrete fell and crushed her son. And her hope.
The anguish this mother feels is immeasurable. After carrying her son’s body on her shoulders and burying him, she returned to the hospital to work.
She is doing what thousands of Haitians are doing, focusing the pain they feel on efforts to help others. I see the same attitude in our Haitian staff. Many of our translators and Haitian medical people who have joined us have personal stories of death and loss. Yet they work tirelessly to help others, to bring hope and healing to their country.