Truckload after truckload of trauma patients kept rolling in. Just four days after the 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on January 12, 2010, I arrived at a hospital in Jimani, Dominican Republic, very near the Haitian border.
I was in the Dominican Republic on a volunteer assignment with the nonprofit Foundation for Peace when the earthquake hit. In an instant, my focus became disaster response.
The hospital felt chaotic as I entered. No one seemed to be in charge. Communication was difficult, since volunteers had come from all over the world and were speaking at least seven different languages. Patients had open wounds with bones sticking out. There weren’t enough doctors or medicine.
For the next month and a half, I helped run the hospital. I coordinated helicopter flights, facilitated communication, made sure patients were fed, and otherwise provided organization and structure.
During this time, I barely ate or slept. Physically and mentally exhausted, I returned to the U.S. in March 2010 to rest and recuperate. In May 2010, I traveled to Haiti to work at a hospital before moving in August to a new position in Fond Parisien, about an hour outside of Port-au-Prince, where I train Haitian community members in disaster management.
I know the needs in Haiti are still very great and will continue to be for many years to come. Still, I’m excited about what I have been able to help accomplish.
I was just a premed graduate, but God was using me. I can definitely say it wasn’t me, but God working through me.
—Luke Davies ’09