Pure religion: A rescue in Haiti

Liz Howell was a member of a Church-sponsored medical team providing care this January in earthquake-ravaged Haiti. The following is her first-person account, as told to Scott Taylor of the Deseret News:


Some of our medical team were [on our way] to the Carrefour Ward meetinghouse. We realized we had only 45 minutes to do any type of a clinic there. We asked if we should turn around and go back; we said, "No, let's just go."

When we arrived at the meetinghouse..., we really didn't see any acute medical needs at first. We had been there about 10 minutes and in comes this little boy. He was 4 years old, but he looked like he was 2. His mother had died in the earthquake; his father was alive.

His aunt and his father, who lived up in the hills, had walked for hours. … They were near the Church when they were spotted by one of the LDS members, who the previous day had been given the responsibility to find people in need of medical help.

The little baby would probably lose his hand; his bones were exposed. He had lacerations so deep we could see the bones, and even that was necrotic. He had lacerations on each side of his torso, chunks missing from his scalp, and his left ear was kind of hanging there.

He had a really high fever. By the time we got him, it appeared he was septic, full of infection. I think maybe he would have had two days, if that, before he would have passed.

I knew we had to take him to a hospital right then and there. He was so scared and in such pain. He was dirty and crying. I bandaged him, cleaned his wounds and gave him antibiotics.

We wrapped him up, and he held me. He didn't understand English, but I just kept telling him that I loved him and that we would take care of him. We went into University Hospital.

I asked (Ogden, Utah, emergency-room doctor Jeremy Booth), who was in the back seat, to give the baby a priesthood blessing. He did — and in Creole.

We heal with our hands, but there's also a healing we have access to that comes in times of need.

We went into the pediatric ward and were met by Swiss doctors. ... Without looking at the baby's wounds, they told me they had not lost an arm yet nor had they lost a foot yet in all their surgical procedures.

As I was getting ready to go, I looked him in his big, brown eyes and told him, "We love you, and you're going to be taken care of."

I'm grateful the Lord led us to him, that the members were in tune enough to find him and bring him to us.

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