I'd have sworn that I just landed coming back from the moon according to our arrival at our site on clinic day #5. Red cross volunteers lined the isle while 1,500 people awaited in hopes of getting some medical attention. My heart sank at the overwhelming amount of hopeful people, knowing we only have a team of 23 nurses/doctors. (+ 1 photographer) How could we see 1,500 people in one day?
After a welcome ceremony and a few speeches, we scrambled to get order and control the crowd. They asked to bring us the sickest people first. Several elderly were carried forward and almost immediately hooked up to IVs. Times like these, I put down the camera and run around helping people find people, certain medical supply bags or simply bringing patients to the next zone. I also took over the vitamin/de-worming table for a bit, which sounds grosser than it is. (It was just a pill.) The most common complaints were stomach or joint pain.
This community used to be a garbage dump years ago, but the government shut it down and moved it because people were getting sick. People would sift through to find plastic, glass and aluminum to sell for money. The place we held clinic is a daycare funded by TransformAsia. They send a bus to the new dump location and bring a load of kids here to play and eat instead of going to work with their parents.
PS: Here is Part 1 of my cambodia trip: Part 1
Shauna, founder of International Medical Relief, wanted me to come back behind daycare to document where the people lived. What we found was a whole lot of adorable children. I mean a d o r a b l e .
There is a tiny baby in that little cage thing. I am guessing to protect her from bugs. Cool, right?
Check out those pipes!!
This next photo is my favorite one from the entire trip. The team decided they couldn't help this man with the supplies we had so we offered to bring him to the hospital and pay for the care he needed. Zach, Eugene and Heather helped carry this man to the van and Cheri went with him to the hospital. A heroic moment if you ask me.
More cute kids!!
On the bus ride home, we tallied that we saw 840 patients that day. For a team of 23 that is kind of amazing, right?
Tune in next week for Part 3! (not sure how many parts there will be.) Here is PART 1 if you missed it!