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Francine Lavin Weaver shares a story and pictures from her daughter Shana, who is a physical therapist volunteering in Haiti.

Some People Just “Do It!”

Some people spend their lives talking about “doing it” . . . and others just DO! The following is from my daughter, Shana Weaver, who grew up here in Boulder, Colorado.  Laughter and tears of pride are all over my face. . .

I have finally found a somewhat reliable internet connection and so I have decided to write a bit about my trip so far…..

I have just finished the 6 day week of seeing patients. I get up when the sun hits my tent and it becomes a hot box and make my tea and instant oatmeal! I was the only PT this week so I immediately have been making decisions on who needs what and how to help next. We see patients at the refugee camp from 8-2 until the heat completely exhausts me and seeing another pt would be of no help to them or me.

We have a clinic (made of tarp and wood) with 5 plinths and many supplies that have been organized by previous volunteers. There are 150 or so patients and new ones coming in daily. Ranging from children to adults who have been severely injured in the earthquake, many still on crutches, canes and in wheelchairs. It is heartbreaking to hear not only the injury stories but the amount of family members that each patient has lost. Because it is 4+ months from the earthquake the scars have mostly healed but the disability is prevalent. I will be very excited to discuss the patients with Krysten, Katie, Emily, Julia and Nancy when they arrive tomorrow to figure out the best way in which we can help increase functional outcomes…..(that was kind of intense PT talk…haha).

I am staying on the land of a Missionary compound. I have never really interacted with Missionaries quite like this before, to be honest I try to stay far away (no offense to anyone;) However, honestly I am amazed and impressed with the work they are doing and the amount of help they are providing the community here. They run food distribution for many neighboring communities, an orphanage/school for 60 children, a medical clinic and the list goes on. I reside beside the warehouse where I walk daily and see where all the “food drive/clothing drives for Haiti” end up! It is crazy to see the other side. Word of advice when donating to the developing world it is best to send a box all of one thing not a misc grouping of clothes shoes etc. It will make this side MUCH easier for distribution! 😉 So I have yet to tell the wonderful people that run this place that i am Jewish but I don’t really think they would care..Ha. I did tell the Haitian translator….first I was VIP- the Chosen people, then I was quickly becoming his convert project. To say the least…they really love Jesus….and OBAMA!

So I am meeting new friends, eating out of a bag, taking cold showers and working on my french/Creole and having a great time… and the cold beer at the end of the night helps….”

Post Note: The name of Shana’s organization is called “Hands of Light in Action” and can be found on Facebook.  Hands of Light in Action (HOLIA) is an 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that is focused on assisting people in need.  HOLIA was started by Nancy Malone, PT after Katrina devastated New Orleans in 2005. She has devoted her life to assisting people in need with her greatest passion being assisting during disasters. Currently, the organization is focused on the country of Haiti and is accepting volunteers, MEDICAL and NON-MEDICAL. There is a strong need for physical therapists, occupational therapists, orthotists, and prothetists. Contact us if you would like to volunteer.

Hands of Light in Action
P.O. Box 87513
Canton, MI 48188
Phone: (734) 981-6737
Fax (734) 981-6737

About Francine Lavin Weaver

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