Healthy Bodies for Healthy Minds

A Reflection from guest blogger, Ashley Gibson, RN, MSN

What a week. I believe that could be said from all five of us who just returned from a week long medical mission trip to Haiti.

A team of five women, our fearless leader Terrell Smith, ER Doctor Susan,
Dermatologist Audrey, Pharmacist Cindy, and Nurse Ashley arrived Super Bowl Sunday (February 3rd) in Port-au-Prince, Haiti airport ready to serve the children of the Joseph School and the community of Cabaret.

Audrey Kunin, Guetcheen (Haitian Medical student), Cindy Franklin, 
Susan Taylor, Terrell Smith and Ashley Gibson
Audrey Kunin, Guetcheen (Haitian Medical student), Cindy Franklin,
Susan Taylor, Terrell Smith and Ashley Gibson

Our first stop was to the Joseph School to drop supplies and organize our plan for the week. All five of our medical bags passed customs and we were able to get things set up thanks to the help of Bildad, [Director of Operation],  and the TJS team.

Cindy Franklin with the groups supplies
Cindy with the groups supplies

We spent the first two days of our trip performing physical exams on all 119 children of The Joseph School. We treated tinea capitis (ringworm of the head) by having a hair washing station at the end of the day. The kids had a
blast with it, and I’m sure enjoyed the cool water on a hot afternoon.

Due to the massive amounts of dust it isn’t uncommon for dry eyes and clogged ears. Several of the children had cerumen impaction
which could potentially affect hearing, resulting in possibility of poor school performance. On the third day while the teachers and staff at the school were being assessed, several of the children underwent
ear irrigation to help eliminate the impaction resulting in smiles and appreciation!

The Joseph School
TJS students happily waiting to be assessed by the medical team

Our third day was spent assessing the children’s’ family members, many who came with the children to school that day as well as several of the local community members. All in all we were able to assess and
treat over 200 persons during our time in Cabaret. 

Young child being assessed by 
Susan, an ER doctor, and Guetcheen, a Haitian medical student
Young child (not a TJS student) being assessed by
Susan, an ER doctor, and Guetcheen, a Haitian medical student

We had plans to assess more community members Thursday of our trip, as well as pay a visit to the Orphanage where some of TJS’s students live; however, we experienced a country-wide lock down instead.

Thankfully, the TJS team made sure we, the students, and the staff were all safe. Due to the civil unrest, we arrived back in the states a day early, but I can not wait to return.

I’m sure the rest of the ladies would say the same. Until next time Haiti <3

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