TRINITY — A local family-practice doctor who went with a medical team to Haiti has made it there safely.
Dr. Leo Vieira arrived in the disaster-stricken country at 8:43 p.m. Tuesday, said his wife, Guiga. He and a team of doctors and nurses plan to set up a clinic in an orphanage outside Port-au-Prince.
"We saw over 100 patients this AM — taking care of common ailments such as musculoskeletal complaints (back and joint pain), headaches and rashes," he said in an e-mail to the St. Petersburg Times. "Many of the children are malnourished and we had to give IV fluids to an 8-day-old premature baby who had not been feeding."
The team has set up a clinic at an orphanage in Bercy, a small village outside of Cabaret, which is 15 miles northwest of Port-au-Prince. They plan to set up a clinic in Cabaret today and staff a teaching hospital in Titanyen on Friday and Saturday.
The line of patients outside the orphanage grew most of the day.
"Our supplies and pharmacy are well equipped to handle just about everything that we have seen so far, but there are a few instances where the needs of the people are greater than we can provide — as (in) the case of a 38-year-old man who lost the vision on his left eye approximately one year ago — likely secondary to glaucoma and completely preventable."
Vieira, 36, who practices in Trinity, plans to spend about a week in Haiti helping the sick and injured. He and a South Carolina doctor and the rest of the team took a donor's private jet to the Dominican Republic and boarded a smaller plane to cross the border into Haiti.
Vieira brought four duffle bags packed with donated supplies, including antibiotics, pain relievers, bandages and gummy vitamins for children. He and the others also needed to bring enough protein bars and bottled water to sustain them for their stay.
Some of the donations came from Trinity Elementary School, where the Vieiras' two children are students.