Haiti After the Earthquake

I picked up this book just yesterday and it has re-sparked in me a passion for global health. I think recently I’ve been feeling a bit disconnected from the individuals I’ve professed to care deeply about – the poor suffering from disease. Maybe I should’ve done a service project this summer. Maybe I shouldn’t have sat editing in my room so much.

I’ve been too wrapped up in my own world of med school and making videos that it’s been too long since I’ve had any significant interaction with those who have launched me in this direction in the first place. But the moving stories of tragedy and hope has reminded me why I care about the poor. It’s a sign for me to stay grounded – physically, mentally and spiritually – in the community I serve. 

I’ll leave you with a quote from the book, a written personal account from Paul Farmer about this “natural disaster.”

“In the dim reaches of misery, insomnia is a constant companion, especially when twenty-first-century people die of nineteenth-century afflictions – minor injuries and simple fractures as well as pneumonia, tuberculosis, and other infections, such as tetanus, preventable with a vaccine available for pennies. I was pursued by the sights and smells and sounds of the day: the unrelieved pain; patients and doctors sprinting outside during an aftershock; the young man in respiratory distress…and pervading all, the charnel-house odor from the morgue and under the rubble. I tried especially to forget the morgue. But counting sheep kept turning into the grim process of counting the dead…The image of the man who couldn’t breathe was still with me as dawn approached.”

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