Today started off as a regular Sunday.

Church began at 9:30am, instruments riding that Caribbean sound wave and then, without fail, a team member walks up to me in the middle of my jam session to ask me a question that apparently couldn't have waited until after church. Then we head to “Gwopapa Poul” or “Big Daddy Chicken” for our Sunday lunch. We return to MOH with the Hope House kids awaiting in the shadows of the playground with the gleam of “playtime” in their eyes. So I, of course, continued my quest to show all kids how much stronger I am than them by doing pull ups with kids hanging around my torso. Then the security guard yells my name...

He had his walkie talkie covering his mouth with an urgent look on his face. He told me there has been an accident with missions people and that I need to drive to a local town to help them. Kind of confused, I walked to my apartment to get Jay and the keys to a MOH pick up truck. Some translators hop in the bed of the truck and we headed down to the clinic to try and figure out what was going on. I exited the truck hoping to find someone to tell me something. I look over my shoulder as I hear a car approaching. It is a tap tap- which is basically a truck with a colorfully cage on the back and benches to sit people to taxi them around.

It U-turns and backs into the entrance of the MOH clinic. As it rolls closer, time slows down. I notice a white girl through the dust lifelessly turn her head towards me, face and arm covered in dried blood. Her head droops and I begin to survey the rest of the passengers who are slowly becoming visible. Everyone is covered in blood. The tap tap stops 5 feet from me. I glance down to see 3 Haitians laying in between the seated white people in the bed of the taptap. One has a mangled foot. Another has his tibia and fibula bones broken and completely exposed laying on top of shredded flesh. The last Haitian is face down and motionless.

Someone yells my name which snaps me out of my surreal state. We have to unload them onto stretchers immediately and place them in triage for assessment. Our initial team: ER doctor, Orthopedic PA, EMT, nurse, chiropractor, ex-police officer and me. So I listen and do whatever the doctors tell me. Get gloves. Check. Get in the taptap and lift these people out onto a stretcher. I lift and place. Lift and place. Lift and place. When the third person gets unloaded onto a stretcher, two more cars pull up with more injured people. More dust, more blood.

The Numbers:

27 people injured
15 people from a missions team out of Missouri
2 MOH ambulances to transport patients to University of Miami Hospital in PAP

The Story:

A missions team, having finished helping a remote school in the mountains for the day, gathers in a tap tap, larger than a pick up and smaller than a dump truck. They have Haitians jump on with them thus allowing a few brave souls to sit on the roof (there are benches for seating up there too). As they progress down a steep sided mountain road, the brakes give out. The road turns, the driver follows suit with too much speed sending the taptap rolling and throwing people out (no seat belts provided).


Back to the triage. Madness. We unload everyone. Head injuries and concussions. Lacerations abound. Blood all over the ground. People running around everywhere. I was running around everywhere.

Lifting, placing, finding.
Saline, morphine, needles and syringes.

I felt like I went patient to patient.

41 year old American woman. Help change her IV. She grabs my arm and looks at me with a similar blank look as a newborn baby. Somethings wrong. Grant, EMT, repeatedly asks her where she is to which she finally replies with a slight and soft “walmart”. We grab her IV and push her in an ambulance, shut the doors, gone.

18 year old American girl. Diabetic. Just recently involved in an accident and had her spine fused. Now complains of tingly fingers. I am told to find something with sugar in it that she can quickly digest. Run into the pharmacy. Needle in a haystack becomes relevant. My hand is placed on the top of my head as I let out an overwhelmed sigh. Instantly the visiting pharmacist walks in having just arrived to the scene. 30 seconds later I walk out with quick dissolve sugar tablets and then place them in girls mouth.

21 year old American male. Holding two gauze pads over his forehead and eyes. Bottom of his face covered in blood. I went with the ER doctor into, where else, the ER. The male removed his pads to reveal huge cuts with equally huge flaps of skin. The doctor asks me to be her ER Tech. I gather and hand her things she needs to perform. I watch as she slowly crafts his face back together. Through stitching and staples and an hour and a half of remolding, his face looks like a face again.


The whole ordeal, from the abrupt arrival to last patient transferred, was about 4 hours. When it was over and I began walking up to the guesthouse, I thought about the phone calls being made to the students parents. “There's been an accident, pray.” That's about one of the worse things you can hear. Four months ago, it was, “There's been an earthquake, pray.” Today was an instant reminder of the horrific tragedy that crippled Haiti. Instead of 27 people, there were millions.

For me personally, there is one main difference between today and mid January. Today, I felt better prepared. Everyone and everything felt better equipped. Progress is being made here. Slowly but surely. Today provided a glimpse of hope for Haiti's future. I hope that you continue to pray for Haiti and for the health of the injured and their families.
reina
05/17/2010 05:29

oh my boy jeremy -
once again there are fresh tears as i read another story from your days in haiti. i am really sad for these people so badly injured and for their families in america, and for the re-awakening of familiar emotions within you 3 from earthquake days. simultaneously, i am still so very thankful that you 3 have been invited by the God of the universe to be right there, part of this amazing adventure of His redemption. You get to experience so closely His heart committed to restore the brokenness of this planet, including our own broken heart. Cont. to pray for all today, but esp. you 3 that own my heart!

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Deborah
05/17/2010 06:09

I'm glad you guys are there. This is the adventure of a lifetime - with eternal reward and kingdom impact. Praise the Lord for your willingness to go. Praise the Lord for giving you a strong stomach and sound mind to be in that situation. Thank you for sharing your stories so that we can keep up with you and pray for you.

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mom
05/17/2010 13:15

My heart aches for you and every one else that had to go through this horrific time. Those poor people were lucky to have the hand of God through you to be with them. I pray for the brokenness that is abound there. Take care of yourselves because our God is surely in that place. Love you

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Austin
05/24/2010 10:50

Jer,

I love you. Thanks for sharing your heart and your experience - its an enormous blessing bro.
Praying for you guys and thankful for what He's doing with u.

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Grandmama
06/01/2010 15:48

Dear Jeremy, how can I ever tell you how very proud I am of you. I think of you constantly and miss you so very much. Please know that I keep you in my prayers. Thank you Sweetie for what you are doing. Love you always, Grandmama

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Aunt Sharon
06/14/2010 18:43

God has made a remarkable person of you. Keep up God's work - God and the Haitians are counting on you! Love you lots, Auntie Sharon

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dana whitt
06/20/2010 23:36

hello, friend that i've never met...
i've commented before on your blog, b/c we have a mutual friend, lauren, who went to haiti last year and she connected me to your site so i can keep updated on some real people and real stories in haiti. this entry hit so hard... b/c one of the people in the wreck was/is a communications professor at my old college in missouri. she is beautiful, hilarious, god-fearing, and truly amazing. she is still at the hospital in miami, and the road to recovery looks rough, but she is alive. alive and fighting. thank you for reacting, for feeling, for seeing, for praying, doing, loving, and hurting. through you and the work of your friends, and the power of christ, my friend's life was spared.

keep on serving. let love grow tall, in your heart and through your hands. praying that god will continue to revive your spirit and rejuvenate your soul.

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Ethan Anderson
09/06/2010 22:28

hey man,
My names ethan... and i just want to thank you from the bottom of my heart... i was involved in that wreck, i was wearing a green shirt and brown shorts if that possibly helps.
what your doing over there is amazing and i just want to encourage you to keep seeking God and following his call on your life.i want to honeslty tell you i love you , and thanks for saving my life and my teams lifes. im praying for you!

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Gaby
09/13/2010 21:04

My Name is Gaby Tucker, and thought it's been months since the wreck, I just found this blog. I was on that truck, and I want to say thank ever so much, and praise God that you were willing to help.

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Rosie
09/14/2010 00:04

My name is Rosie Kerr. I was in that wreck. I got to watch, experience, and witness everything that happened that day. I praise the Lord for you and your team. God knew who needed to be there, He knew what we were going to need. Thank you for your willingness and love. And thank you for going, the earthquake is a rough event to clean up after, but I can see God has put the best people there to be His hands and feet!

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Claire
09/14/2010 13:38

I just found out about your blog the other day...
I was one of the ones on the truck that day - on the very top, actually. I had a concussion, so I don't remember a lot of what happened, but I know that if it wasn't for you and the rest of the Mission of Hope team, who knows what could have happened. I don't like to think of the "what ifs", but if that's gonna show how amazing our God is, then I can't help it...Our Gog is bigger than anything out there and I'm thankful to be a living testimony of that!
I just want to say thank you with all of my heart. You and that mission were God-placed!

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