Feb 2, 2010 6:00 AM by John Romero
Pueblo surgeon Dr. Jim Smith is no stranger to Haiti. The past few years he has traveled there as part of medical relief efforts. After the recent earthquake he and a team of medical staff headed to the torn country to help heal the injured. "When I first hit the ground I found out which of the hospitals were functioning around the city and the ones who were capable of doing surgery. I went to one of them and plucked myself in as a surgeon." explains Dr. Smith.
With hundreds of thousands hurt in the earthquake, it was a constant flow of patients needing amputations. "We were doing 30-40 a day when I first got there. It was little kid's arms and legs. Some unfortunate people had to have both gone." he says.
The makeshift supplies and operating rooms didn't help either. "You didn't get the exact thing that you normally would have asked for in this type of situation but it worked." he explains, "We were able to get the job done with whatever we had." Even so, Dr. Smith says the urgency of the situation kept everyone going. "When you're charged with that kind of adrenaline you don't need too many hours of sleep at night and you just keep going." he says with a smile.
And now that he's back home, the doctor looks at the relief effort with a renewed outlook. The outpouring of donations from all over the world touched him. "It's very reassuring that if you're ever in that situation, the world is going to come together and help."
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