Dr. Patricia Poitevien was born in the US, but her parents are from Jacmel, Haiti, and still live there.
During the flight, she shared some of her most vivid memories from her prior visits to Haiti. She recalled her first visit to the General Hospital in Port-Au-Prince. At the time she was a medical student and was eager to learn more about the heathcare delivery in Haiti. She arrived at the hospital and was ushered to the waiting room where she surveyed a roomful of adults and children waiting to be evaluated. The hot room was filled with chairs in various states of disrepair and the peeling paint bore witness to the urgency with which so many had waited for help that at times came far too late. As she gazed across the room her eyes soon rested on an individual lying on the floor in dire need of medical attention. It wasn't his moans that hinted to the acuity of the situation...in fact he was quiet. Nor did his movements offer any additional clues...he was relatively still. Rather, it was the amount of blood that pooled around him from a wound in his leg.
Dr. Poitevien brought the situation to the attention of her guide when she was ushered from the waitig room to the care area.
"Oh, we'll get to him", the guide offered calmly.
At first she could not understand what could be more ugent. As she surveyed the area with patient after patient on mats and chairs in every corner, it became clear that perhaps they had reached the limit of urgent cases that can be handled.
There simply was...no more room at the inn.
Location:NW 57th Ave,Miami,United States