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Disaster in Haiti: A Personal Journey (01 Sep '10)

Team member Kate Amatruda wrote an article on her deployment experiences in Haiti. This article appeared in the July/August 2010 issue of The Therapist, the publication of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (CAMFT), headquartered in San Diego, California. This article is copyrighted and been reprinted with the permission of CAMFT. For more information regarding CAMFT, please log on to http://www.camft.org/.

It is the smell of the decomposing bodies of dead children at the collapsed school in the Delmas area of Port-au-Prince and the knowledge that their remains may never be recovered that stays with me. Returning to our medical tent, I work with Cassandre*, who tells me that she was one of only three children who survived the destruction of her school. She is thirteen years old. When she was rescued after three days of being trapped in the rubble, she found out that her mother had been killed in the catastrophic 7.0 earthquake of January 12, 2010. We are the first medical team she has seen, now eight days after the quake. She may lose her leg, due to a fracture that has become badly infected. Gangrene has set in.

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