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Endeavors to Help Haiti

Lainey S. Cronk, January 22, 2010
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Alum Scott Nelson, pictured here on a previous medical trip to Haiti, was one of the first doctors to begin performing orthopedical surgeries following the recent earthquake in Haiti.

The Pacific Union Community has watched in sorrow news of the tragic earthquake in Haiti. The campus rejoiced with our one student from Haiti, Pierre Julov, when he was finally able to speak with his parents and learned that they were alive and well.

In the meantime, the community has endeavored to help in several ways, most notably when the Angwin Community Services pledged up to $10,000 in matched funds. Calls for participation were made at colloquy and church services and word spread across campus, resulting in the raising of $17,690 — totaling $27,690 with the matching funds.

Another connection came in the form of a PUC alum. On January 14, Scott Nelson ('92) arrived in Haiti to set up an orthopedic surgical unit. Nelson works as a medical director for CURE International at a hospital in the Dominican Republic and has made numerous trips in the past to Haiti to perform corrective surgery for children.

At Hopital du la Communitie Haitien, Nelson and his team found many orthopaedic cases filling the parking lot and patio, as people were too frightened to go inside the building. "One 3 year old child was about to get his arm amputated by an opthamologist and she was relieved to turn the case over to me," he reported in a message posted by Spectrum Magazine.

On the 18th, Nelson arrived at the Adventist hospital in Port-au-Prince, Hopital Adventiste d’Haiti. Though the hospital was structurally sound, people were again frightened to go inside and an operating suite was set up in the parking lot under a blue tarp. Scott reported that there were weeks' worth of orthopedic surgical cases to be done and he understood that he was one of the only surgical teams opperating in Port-au-Prince at the time.

The Adventist Development and Relief Agency, to whom the Angwin community is sending their funds, continues to serve in Haiti by bringing water treatment systems, shelter, and medical personnel.