Amanda Davis was featured in the Alumni Spotlight in the 01.22.10 Edition of Gator Tales. Amanda is using her vacation time from St. Francis Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, to volunteer as a nurse in Haiti. Below are her accounts of her time spent in Haiti.
Hello Friends and Family,
As most of you know, I'm heading out for Haiti
tomorrow morning. Actually, in a couple
of hours. The weather is awful in
Memphis and my flight was cancelled. I
am now driving to Jackson, MS to catch a flight to Atlanta in the middle of the
night...So I'll be leaving my house shortly to make the journey. I'm
still packing now and have TONS to get done!!
You may have also heard that I wrecked my car
this morning. I was driving on the interstate in Memphis and a lady hit a
patch of ice, shot across 4 lanes, hit me head on and I spun around and into
the guardrail. Thank God for the guardrail!!! If it would have not
been there to stop my car, I might still be in a ditch right now... I'm pretty
sure that my car is totaled... it looked pretty rough. I did however make
it to Wal-Mart and home alive after my car was towed... Basically, I left
my house for work last night around 6PM and I didn't get home today until about
3PM after the wreck and the whole nine yards...Needless to say, it was a rough
and busy morning. I am OK though...just some bumps and bruises...
I laid down to sleep around 3 when I got home
and woke up at 6 to check my flights and things before packing for the rest of
the night...to find out that my flight had been cancelled due to the weather in
Memphis. I then spent like 3 hours on
the phone with Delta (who were SO AMAZING!!!) and my travel agent and then that
leads to me driving to Jackson, MS, tonight.
Sometimes I think that Satan waits until you're
about to do something to piss him off before he steps in and tries to ruin
things...and let me tell you, he has tried today!!!
I know that I haven't had time to write back to
each of you individually from your texts, emails and phone calls, but I REALLY
appreciate all of the love, support and prayers!! I am so lucky to have such great people in my
I will (hopefully) be emailing back to my mama
who will forward my emails from down there to this email list...I hope that all
of you have a great week and a nice Super Bowl weekend-- GO COLTS!! (that's my
pick). I'll have to see who won when I
Also, for those of you who are interested, I
photo documented the entire car tow away process (including a candid with the
tow truck driver!!) I'll have them posted to Facebook after I get home!
Bless his heart, the tow truck driver thought that I was NUTS!!! I
was like I'm working on being awake for 24 hours straight, I just wrecked my
1st car and hypothermia is setting in because I've been on the side of the
interstate in the freezing ice storm in a tiny thin pair of scrubs...we still
documented with style on the side of the interstate.
I'm leaving my house in a little more than an
hour, so I best get to the shower and finish packing!! Talk with ya'll
Thank you and pray!
Saturday, January 30th - 6:15 AM
I'm with the
drivers and we are the way to meet the rest of the people... Safe.
Hot Hot Hot... But safe...it went from 19 to 95 degrees in just a few hours!
It was so crazy being on a huge flight where every single person on it was
going down to do relief work...Such a cool feeling. I still haven't slept at all...Of course you
know me, I was chatting with all of the passengers on the flight and making new
We are getting food together and packing up tonight to head over early tomorrow
morning for our 14-ish hour drive into Haiti.
I will be in touch later.
Sunday, January 31st - 12:14 PM
We have just
made it through the border between Dominican Republic and Haiti. Passports stamped, bus and supplies
approved. Discussions of shifts and work
to be done have been in place. We are
still finding out about the hospital and such.
They are going to need us for all shifts. So who knows when I will be working...I'm the
youngest of the team so I'm guessing that I will probably get nights? For
now, the roads are bearable and cell phone service is available. We are
already seeing tents all over the place.
A lot of people here have shelter but they are afraid to go back into
their homes for fear of more aftershocks...Apparently, they are still feeling
There are military helicopters all over the skies that appear to be bringing in
supplies and such.
More to come, Amanda
Sunday, January 31st - 9:47 PM
So we made it
here in supposedly record time!! As soon as we got here, they called and needed
nurses for the night at the hospital. Me
and 3 other ladies left immediately going in knowing that it will be a 24-36
hour shift!! They have been working 36
on and then 12 off...So I'm here in the ICU for the night. The patients are all so critical...Lots and
lots of crushed bodies and limbs. All
for now...More later. It's almost like I'm a doctor. We are just giving the meds that we can to
control their pain and making do with what we have. I've already had two patients die and I've
been here for only a couple of hours.
It's an absolute madhouse...
All around, there are military helicopters delivering supplies and US and UN
There is a definite nursing shortage!!!
More importantly a definite warm and willing body shortage...
The buildings are all crumpled down-- I didn't imagine the amount of
devastation. I mean I planned on it in
my head but just really couldn't prepare myself. There are tent cities all over this
city. They almost look like
concentration camps from the movies with tent after tent lines up and all
running into the next. I have not seen any violence since we have been
here. The compound that we are staying
at belongs to global missions and we are sharing it with some American soldiers
and Samaritan's Purse! They have moved
in and taken over-- it's amazing the great things that you can do when you have
money...Their equipment is impeccable!
I need to go check on the patients...More later!
Monday, February 1st - 11:35 PM
So I'm still at
the hospital... Heading up towards hour 36 of work... I've been awake for 68
hours straight... Wow. Heading home tonight shortly for some sleep and then
Miss ya'll! Amanda
Tuesday, February 2nd - 11:13 AM
So we are now
headed to the hospital again... We had a huge delay!!! But it was a nice
naptime for me... I got a whole extra hour in!
Just wanted to mention a few things:
We are staying
out in the country a little north of port-au-prince. The blunt of the
devastation has passed but many are still dying and bodies are being uncovered.
There are still many aftershocks...We felt one yesterday.
There are piles of rubble all over the place...
The people are so sweet. They are grateful.
US military is all over, UNICEF, United Nations - actually haven't seen a ton
of Red Cross though. Need to get off of the phone so that I can take
pictures... Please excuse any typos...On the phone on a bumpy bus ride.
Tuesday, February 2nd - 11:50 AM
We drive pass the US embassy to and from the hospital. It is very nice but also
very heavily protected by soldiers. The line of Haitians packing into
this place daily is unnerving. Lots and lots of people waiting in line to
I'm trying to take lots of pictures but each time my eye is moved to another
spot, it is a photo opportunity. I simply can't capture anything to relay the
state of this county. I wish that my brain was a video camera.
Wednesday, February 3rd - 7:37 PM
Haiti sends her love...She is beautiful and hopeful and healing.
Today was a good day at the hospital. Lost
some and gained even more! There were 7
beautiful births today at the hospital. It is so refreshing to see new
life amongst such devastation and destruction.
I wouldn't go so far as to say that I delivered a baby today...The baby
delivered itself while I surprisingly witnessed its entrance into the world...And
yelled even louder for the only American OB/GYN in the hospital who was in
I've worked a good bit in the hospital ICU which has been exciting yet
eventful. The people are sick, sick,
sick and there is NO technology. No IV
pumps, no ventilators, no monitors. I'm
learning just how dumb I am...
I have been working mostly in the emergency area. We are still seeing so many injuries from the
original quake...People are just waiting to come in or it is taking them a while
to get out of ground zero out to get help.
Fractures, dislocations, more fractures, infected wounds, rotting limbs,
you name it...It's coming in by the handfuls all day long. One thing for sure is that my dressing
changing skills are going to be jam up when I get home...I've also gotten
pretty decent at looking at my patients x-rays while waiting on the orthopods
to leave surgery and come see what I've got going...I've also developed a new IV
skill of chasing extremely dehydrated veins.
For those of you who know what this means, I had a patient yesterday who
had a hemoglobin of 3.3 and a HCT of 10...Yes.
She actually walked into the clinic...Wow!
These people are so strong...
Probably my favorite thing about this entire experience is the global feel. There are medical teams at my hospital from
Italy, Korea, Sweden, etc...I am always meeting new people...However, I did
realize quickly that just because they are white, doesn't mean that they speak
English!! Swedish people are the
trickiest of all--(in scrubs, you can't see the fashion differences between the
cultures). For example, I was in the
pharmacy today looking for some meds that I needed and I saw the drug Metoprolol
(a common blood pressure medicine). I found
Metoprolol in probably 10 different written languages...It was amazing to see
how countries all over the world had donated so much-- people with such
different backgrounds are all coming together for a common cause-- maybe the
coolest feeling ever. I feel so
privileged and honored to be here. It is
such a huge humbling and learning experience. Thank you all for your prayers and support!!
Tomorrow morning starts the start of my next 36 hour shift...Pray!! I did it once before, but I was fresh then...I'm
starting to get tired, worn out. I'll go in early tomorrow (Thursday) morning
and be there through Friday night straight through...No sleep...It's busy, hot,
tiring, and stressful. But it's so much
fun at the exact same time!! I'm pumped and super excited about it!!
Ok-- more updates later and I apologize about the length of this email!! Hope
that all is well in Georgia and Memphis...I hear that Duke is doing well and
making good friends at the doggie resort so he is well taken care of!!
Love ya'll and see you soon!! Amanda