Tuesday, February 16, 2010

what a trip

Hi again, this is Gina. We are home- the trip was way to short, the snow delay didn't help either!! We operated on 27 people all together. Some with moderate wounds, many with large gaping wounds that needed to be cleaned out and sewed together. I think what we did was a drop in the bucket but at least it was something. I hope that we did make a difference in these peoples lives not only medically but also emotionally. It must help in some way for them to know that people do care.
Haiti is a mess.. it will take years and years to fix the country if ever and many of these people will not get the medical care, food or water that they need. The rainy season is coming- the tented cities that thousands are staying in are just that - tents , some made out of plastic most made of cotton sheets. People will not have protection from the torrential rains and storms that are coming. So sad. Living conditions are going to get worse.. I hope people do not forget the Haitians once this story is not in the media. Doctors, nurses and volunteers are needed desperately. The group that ran the hospital that we worked and stayed in is called the International Medical Alliance. They were amazing We will go back . If anyone knows of medical professionals or would like to give a donation, please contact the IMA. If you have questions you can email me directly at geegeelalla@aol.com. The IMA's web site is www.imaonline.org.. They say that 100 percent of donations go directly to the Haitian people and running the hospital, I believe them and have witnessed first had how amazing this organization is.
After the incredible work I have seen people doing in Haiti- I have a renewed faith in humanity. Every volunteer I came across went above and beyond to be kind and help people in desperate need of help. I cannot describe the respect I feel for the Haitian people. In these terrible times they are holding their heads high are polite and proud.
Our family and friends were nervous that we were going to be in danger in Haiti and many did not want us to go. I think that the media played this up. I am sure there are dangerous areas- as there are in all countries- but we did not feel threaten or that we were in danger at all. The Haitians understood that we were there to help and were very happy to have us in their country.
One last thought- I feel so grateful for everything that we have in this country. WE ARE VERY LUCKY. A trip like this puts life into perspective. Please appreciate what we have!!!!

Friday, February 12, 2010

1 month anniversary of the earthquake

Hi everyone, this is Gina
Today was a very productive.We started going to each tent to make sure all of the patients with open non healed wounds were taken care of. Every patient here has either bad wounds or broken bones. Each patient has their own story of their losses. There are here with just the cloths on their backs, all have lost friends and family. Many families are split up. This mornng there was Haitian prayer ceremony because it is the month anniversary of the earthquake. The Haitian people were singing and rocking back and forth. Words cannot explain how powerful, moving and emotional this was to watch. There people have lost so much yet have such faith,are so grateful to have us here and are so sweet.
Sam and I changed multiple wound dressings and performed about 10 surgeries. About half of the people we treated are children. Despite their wounds and pain, the children still laugh,love to be tickled and give us great big hugs.. We are working hard but every second is worth it !!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

first day in jimani

arrived her late last nite..after a treachorous 7 hour ride from santo domingo...we slept a couple of hours in sleeping bags..started learning about all the plastic surgery patients on the list here...still over 150 patients here housed in tents and we are going to also stay on site..
today we reviewed charts and started surgeries..had 7 scheduled surgeries as well as multiple debridements of open wounds and consultations on orthopedic patients..there are a large number of orthopedic trauma patients who still need bone fixation...we are going to do as many cases over next few days..the haitian people are so appreciative and the stories we hear about the earthquake are so sad..but they are resilient and trusting..
dr s lalla

Hi this is Gina, Wow what a trip so far. Everyone has been super nice and we have met people from all over the world who left their families and jobs to help out. There are many injured people here, also many injured children . My son's kindergarten class and erin's chilren's class decorated tee shirts so nwe can give them out to children here. The 27 hour trip we too here was totally worth it just to see the Hatian children's faces when we gave them the shirts. They loved them and sang us songs in appreciation. Erin and I went with a team to a hospital in Haiti to pick up supplies. there were about 500 people in a tented camp> Conditions were good and there was lots of help. Good nite- we will write tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


24 hours later we have arrived in d.r. And heading on our 6 hour ride to jimani..the haitian border town..eager to get to work tomorrow..people have been very helpful along our way..miss my boys..dr s lalla

Where there is a will there is a way!!

Hi everyone, This is Gina , we have had quite the adventure so far just trying to get out of NJ!! We found out at 4 pm that our 7pm flight was CANCELLED!!! 3 of us spent hours on multimedia trying to find a way to the D.R. Due to upcoming blizzard, all flights out of NY,NJ airports were either cancelled or full. What to do? After hours of research, calls, google we found a 6am flight from Atlantic City to Flordia- hoping once in Flordia we would get a flight to the D.R.. So we took a big chance, booked the flights and drove to A.C. The roads were fine at first but after 1 hour of driving we found ourselves caught in the eye of the blizzard with little visibility.. Luckily, my parents live in South Jersey were we decided to stop for a few hours and a good meal. Up at 3am, roads were clear just wet from rain. Long story short, we were able to get on the plane, arrange another flight to the D.R and hopefully by midnight we will be at our destination, ready to work first thing in the am. We will keep you posted! Stay warm, miss you all.

Monday, February 8, 2010

almost ready

Getting ready to go tomorrow. Wanted to thank covidien and st barnabas and meadowlands hospitals for donating some supplies quickly and easily..

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Trip Update

It looks like we are all set up for the trip. We are leaving Tuesday evening ,flying into Santa Domingo where we arrive at 12am. We are going to stay in a hotel and head for the hospital early in the morning( which is 5 hours from the airport). My companions are my wife Gina who is a Nurse Practitioner and Erinn Morr who is a Pediactric ICU nurse. We will be helping out in a small hospital on the Haitian/Dominican Republic border in a town called Jimani, the hospital is The Good Samaritan. Everyone has been so wonderful and supportive of our trip. Hospitals have donated supplies and our patients were very understanding about rescheduling their surgeries so I can take the time to help in Haiti. We are looking forward to helping but also know that we will be working hard in difficult conditions. We are prepared with our sleeping bags and power bars, not knowing if we will have beds or if the food will be safe to eat.