Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

15 young Haiti earthquake survivors settle into Tampa Bay area hospitals

TAMPA — They were all survivors, the 15 Haitian patients who arrived in the Tampa Bay area on Tuesday evening with infected burns, spinal cord injuries, fractured bones and other injuries.

Ranging in age from 4 to 24 years, many had survived days without medical attention before getting treatment at a U.S. military operation there. After it became inundated, they were transferred to Tampa.

"They are amazing. These are very badly injured patients and they have survived two weeks, so these are people who are very strong," said Dr. Cathy Carrubba, Hillsborough County's medical mass casualty director. She said many patients were smiling upon arrival.

"This is a group of people that was very grateful for some civilization at the other end of their journey," said Carrubba, an emergency physician at Tampa General Hospital.

While their injuries do not appear to be life-threatening, she said, many have extensive medical needs. Some should recover fully, while others will require long-term care.

Tampa International Airport got a second flight of 22 critically injured Haitian evacuees Wednesday night. Officials prepared patients to go to local hospitals, just as they did Tuesday night. Ten patients were children, said Kelly Figley, a spokeswoman for the airport.

Florida hospitals have taken a total of 436 people, according to the Florida Department of Health. The majority — 361 — were treated in South Florida.

Jackson Health System spokesman Robert Alonso told the Miami Herald on Wednesday that the health services region covering Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties "has reached surge capacity and is no longer accepting medical patients from Haiti."

Tampa General, which has a specialized burn center, treated nine. Four were sent to St. Joseph's Hospital in Tampa. Bayfront Medical Center in St. Petersburg and University Community Hospital in Hillsborough County each got one.

Two injured U.S. service members on the flight went to the James A. Haley VA Medical Center in Tampa.

The Haitian evacuees at Tampa General have settled into patient rooms, many in intensive care. The young children came with adult caretakers; it was not clear if any are orphans.

Throughout the night, they shared their experiences in French and Creole with the Rev. Celillon Alteme, a native of Haiti who works in pastoral care at Tampa General.

A teenager, who was found buried in rubble, said he was afraid to be inside the hospital building because anything can happen to it.

A man who had stopped for gas when the earthquake struck described the agonizing screams of his wife and others when no one came to treat their burned skin.

A young boy told his translator simply that he was hungry.

"They wonder after the treatment where they are going. That's the question they are asking," Alteme said. "I told them I don't know yet."

Letitia Stein can be reached at lstein@sptimes.com or (813) 226-3322. For more health news, visit tampabay.com/health.

15 young Haiti earthquake survivors settle into Tampa Bay area hospitals 01/27/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, January 27, 2010 11:56pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. 97X Next Big Thing expands to two days; Paramore, the Lumineers lead lineup

    Blogs

    This December, 97X is putting the big in Next Big Thing.

    The Lumineers
  2. Florida prison guards seize weapons, cellphones as statewide lockdown enters day 3

    Crime

    MIAMI — The unrest continued for a third day at Florida state prisons, as corrections officers — some of them armed — staged a show of force in an attempt to stave off an unspecified threat of violence this weekend.

    Blackwater River Correctional Facility. [Florida Department of Corrections]
  3. Sen. Bill Nelson ready to campaign on GOP failure to fix Obamacare

    State Roundup

    For years, Sen. Bill Nelson has faced a steady barrage of partisan attacks over the Affordable Care Act, but as he begins the 2018 re-election campaign, the Democrat stands to benefit from a flipped script:

     U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson talks to local residents about the Affordable Care Act  at the Sam Gibbons Federal Courthouse in Tampa, Florida on July 3. )OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times)
  4. Tiger Bay panel: End permanent revocation of voting rights for convicted felons

    Local

    TAMPA – A panel of elected officials and advocates including Hillsborough State Attorney Andrew Warren argued in a forum Friday that Florida should end its practice of permanently revoking the voting rights of people convicted of felonies.

    Rep. Sean Shaw, D- Tampa, on the floor of the Florida House.[SCOTT KEELER   |   Times
  5. Temple Terrace Citizen of Year skips his awards banquet in protest of Confederate event

    Politics

    TEMPLE TERRACE — Travis Malloy was supposed to show up to the Temple Terrace Golf and Country Club on Thursday to pick up his Citizen of the Year award at the Chamber of Commerce banquet.

    Instead, Malloy stayed away in protest.

    Travis Malloy declined to collect his Citizen of the Year award at the Temple Terrace Golf and Country Club on Thursday to protest the club's decision to host a Southern Heritage event with a War on the South program Sept. 2. Malloy was honored for starting community gardens and a farmers market. [Temple Terrace Chamber of Commerce]