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With reports of more than 1,000 people killed in Haiti and widespread destruction following Hurricane Matthew, Sisters of Mercy plans to send four staff members to help with disaster relief. Sisters of Mercy operates four urgent care centers in the Asheville, North Carolina region, with the proceeds benefitting benevolence activities worldwide.
Dr. Ellen Lawson, Family Nurse Practitioners Tiffany Yeu and Alexis Ivans, and Paramedic Paul Gilliam will join a team from NC Baptist Disaster Relief. There are 14 deaths reported in North Carolina from intense flooding and a total of 38 U.S. deaths attributed so far to Hurricane Matthew.
UPDATE: Team Mercy #16 is scheduled to leave on Nov. 13 to go to Haiti.
“Haitian physician Dr. Vladimyr Roseau of Alpha Omega contacted me (Oct. 13), and we will be going to Haiti on Nov. 13 to help in the mobile clinics. They are getting things under control in Haiti. Because of the hurricane the long-awaited election wasn’t able to be help, and it is not safe for volunteers,” Lawson said. “The police have asked to be notified when trucks carrying teams or aid are traveling so they can provide an escort to prevent theft and disorder.”
Four volunteers from Sisters of Mercy were in the Gros Morne northern region of Haiti when the storm struck last week.
Sisters Jill Weber, who serves on the Board of Directors for Sisters of Mercy Urgent Care, Kathy Thornton, Mary Healy, and Dale Jarvis were stranded until the airports in Port-au-Prince and Miami reopened. The team helped in a nearby hospital and orphanage immediately following the hurricane and just returned Monday to North Carolina.
There were still 55,000 people living in tent-like shelters because of the 2009 earthquake, and this storm further devastated areas of the poor Caribbean nation.
There are serious concerns about a rising death toll in Haiti where cholera is rampant. The deadly diarrheal disease has killed thousands of Haitians each month after an outbreak started nearly seven years ago following the earthquake. If not treated properly cholera can cause death by dehydration in less than a day—but a lifesaving treatment prevents death in up to 80 percent of cases.
“Implications for the near future are infectious disease as cholera will spread due to flooding, and people will have no food because it is harvest time, and the crops have all been destroyed,” Lawson said.
Want to help? Visit www.urgentcares.org/haiti for more information about the Mercy for Haiti mission and to donate. Giving a financial contribution helps the group purchase whatever is most needed in the area, whether it’s food, medicine, or other supplies.
Collections are being taken, too. Items needed include: underwear in all sizes, disposable and cloth diapers, mosquito repellant with Deet, antifungal cream and powder. Items or checks can be sent to Sisters of Mercy Urgent Care’s Catherine McAuley MERCY Foundation (CMMF), PO Box 16367, Asheville, NC 28816.