The Daughter: MEMORY
Memory is a very important part of your life. Without memory, one would not be able to remember life experiences, the names of the people they love, those who they impacted, or were impacted by.
Another important thing in life is the act of compassion which can be seen in selfless action and trying to help another person to one’s full extent.
The doctors that came to volunteer with Hands up for Haiti combine both of these things to create an impact far larger than one would expect. A couple of weeks before I left to go to Haiti, I decided I would go onto the website and read all the stories about patients seen: one of the stories was about a teenage girl who was having hallucinations and was brought to the clinic seeking help. One of the doctors who treated this girl was Dr. Jill Ratner and what they did was have her go see a team of psychiatrists who could help her and give her the medication she needed. Even though the doctors from Hands Up for Haiti couldn’t do anything themselves, they used their compassion and all their resources to help this girl get what she needed.
The next time Dr. Ratner went on a trip, the girl visited her and was doing much better because of the visit to the psychiatrist that Dr. Ratner helped make happen.
She came to visit when we were at Blue Hills treating patients. While doing triage, I spotted her outside and realized that I recognized her from the website and thought back to the moving article I read about this girl’s story. When Dr. Ratner saw her you could see the happiness on both of their faces. This shows how important memory and compassion are in many lives. Because Dr. Ratner was so compassionate with this girl, neither one of them could forget each other. Also, the help Dr. Ratner gave this girl, impacted and changed her life so much that the memory of her visit with Hands Up for Haiti, especially with Dr. Ratner, would never go away. Watching the reunion was amazing and moving.
Dr. Ratner impacted this girl’s life and changed it for the better through doing anything she could for her mental health. Seeing the impact Dr. Ratner made on the life of this girl helped me to realize the kind of pediatrician I want to be in the future and the impact I want to make on the lives of others.
Lauren Burnette- Sophomore in High School Aspires to be a Pediatrician
Her Mother’s Reflections:
This week was incredible! I have wanted to go on a medical mission for sometime now. I didn’t know it would be so spectacular. Having my two teenage daughters with me to experience Haiti together was life changing.
The poverty in Haiti is quite evident, but I didn’t expect how primitive the medical system would be. I saw many patients at various locations and worked with limited supplies. Many adults suffered from high blood pressure, pain “all over” and vaginal
yeast infections. The children had itching from scabies, fungal rashes, diarrhea from worms, cough, “stomach” pains, and malnutrition. The Haitians wait their turns very patiently and appreciate whatever help we can provide.
We were a very large group of 20 doctors, nurses, and students. It was amazing how we all worked so well together. We all learned from each other how to provide the best care possible with such limited supplies. Everyone was always willing to help in anyway possible.
I will never forget all the people on my trip, The Haitian doctors and nurses, the fantastic translators, the appreciative Haitian people, and all the beautiful children with their bright white smiles and gleaming eyes!
I look forward to my next mission with Hands Up for Haiti.
Carol Ann Killian, M.D., Emergency Medicine