Humanitarian Health Action

Hotel Montana Survivor's dreadful epiphany of Haiti's future: Joanne, Haiti Survival Fundation

People outside of the hospital getting treatment

When the tremors stopped I heard the screams of fear, pain, and desperation. I worked with other survivors to try rescue the trapped. We had some successes, though many we were unable to rescue.

I also knew that even if help did arrive, they likely would not have the equipment necessary to move a collapsed roof. Would they even be able to save the buried victims? Was there a medical team able to help?

Most of the structures I saw from my cliff view did not withstand this earthquake. The limited water and sanitation system had also likely failed. I saw the injured not getting the care needed as the medical system was unable to help the massive amount of people in need. Shrieks of mourning would soon become a common sound heard from every direction.

The grief of loss will begin to be overshadowed by hunger and thirst. Many Haitians were already malnourished and I fear more could die from food deprivation. Others may contract diseases as thirst will compel many to drink unsafe water.

The enormity of what happened and the suffering the people of Haiti were about to endure was overbearing. How could a country so in need of aid already, become so much worse?

I have a moral responsibility to raise awareness of how desperate the people of Haiti are for our help, to convey how extreme their situation is, and how much worse it will become without sufficient aid.