Here the smallest patients can receive the care, nutrition and information that could change their lives. Donations are being accepted at Smith’s stores in Los Alamos and White Rock. Courtesy photo
Local Smith’s Pharmacist Katie Fry stands with a patient from her volunteer work in Haiti. Courtesy photo
By BERNADETTE LAURITZEN
One of our favorite Smith’s employees is headed to Haiti once again on a life changing mission and you can help.
Pharmacist Katie Fry and friend Elizabeth Hargreaves will return to the impoverished location to assist families with lifesaving care, as they spend their days tending the sick and poor, in a week-long mission of compassion for their fellow man.
The trip will be the eighth for Fry and the fifth for Hargreaves.
The 2020 trip is scheduled for early April and some light on the wallet fundraising is underway. Fry’s last trip was in March 2019, where she saw more patients who were sicker than previous visits.
“We saw over 2,600 patients and left over 100 patients at the gates when it was time to close the clinic,” Fry said. “This is a sign of the times currently in Haiti.”
Hargreaves followed in September 2019 and was only in country for a week when the team was flown from Port Au Prince to Jacmel to keep them safe.
Fry said she believes that news from Haiti is very hard to find.
“The violence seems to have stopped or at least calmed down,” she said. Haitian Adventures, working at the Hands and Feet orphanage, states the children may have started back to school finally after the first of the year.”
The first Haitian clinic of 2020, took place in January, and just wrapped up a reported 2,500 patient visits with a variety of needs. One example from the trip included an adult patient who was brought into the clinic by his mother and sister. A few days prior, he had suffered a seizure and fallen into a fire.
The team saw him daily to treat his burns. The FOH were able to cleanse and debride the burns at each visit, give him antibiotics to treat the infection, and start seizure medication to control the seizures. They were also able to connect the young man with a local Haitian doctor, who agreed to follow up with him at his private clinic.
The travelers are looking for small donations, that can be dropped at our local Smith’s pharmacies prior to the trip. A variety of items will travel with them in April. Toothbrushes, toothpaste, diaper pins for cloth diapers, alcohol swabs (200 count boxes), eye rewetting drops, multivitamin infant drops and children’s multivitamin chewable with iron, but no gummies, and are most in need by patients.
Another hope of the women on a mission are new or homemade cloth bags. Hargreaves and friends have started sewing bags from scrap material, adding handles from ribbon or webbing. The beauty of the cloth bags is that when it has served the needed usefulness, it can be burned in a fire. The hope is to take 1,000 such bags on this trip.
Spare change also can be utilized for supplies or associated trip costs. Once again, donations can be made at Smith’s Marketplace Pharmacy or the Smith’s Pharmacy in White Rock. Donation jars are available at both locations.
Those preferring to donate online can find a secure link on the Friends of the Children of Haiti website. Read more at www.FOTCOH.org. The April 2020 Medical Team information can be found there for Catherine “Katie” Fry and donations also can be mailed to a postal address found on the website.
If you aren’t able to donate, please keep the traveling team in your prayers.