I did get two reports yesterday from my brother Francis. One in the morning and one late afternoon. He was down from the mountain in the morning picking up the nurse from Texas. He was in Orica and said that Monday's move up the mountain by everyone was successful. Joint Task Force Bravo arrived in La Ceiba around 5:00 P.M. Tuesday afternoon and began immediately to set up for the first clinic day. Then, late yesterday afternoon he was about an hour out of the mountain in Acote getting more supplies - beyond Acote there is no telephone coverage.
He described the first day as hectic but remarkable. He used words like stunning, amazing, and incredible. We have 11 medical personnel from the United States, 11 nutrition students from South Dakota State University in Brookings, about 8 translators from Honduras, and the Joint Task Force Bravo contingent of mostly U.S. military medical people numbering between 40 and 50. By the time we add our cooks and drivers into the mix we have 70 plus in the mountain during this mission. An incredible number.
Francis said the medical team (the doctors and nurses) treated over 400 people just yesterday - some so serious they have sent them on to hospitals in Tegucigalpa. He said the dentists were working feverishly and thought they had treated between 40 and 50 patients. The pharmacists were working hard and keeping up with the many prescriptions - in the thousands.
He described the great number of SAM's (severe acute malnourishment) and MAM's (moderately acute malnourishment) in the children they saw just yesterday. One statement struck me (as it always does); everyone was asking for food.
He had no report from Dr. Kemmer and the teams of students and doctors that are doing the nutrition study in various parts of the mountain - they had not returned by the time he left for Acote so I cannot give you an update as to their day. I can only imagine the reality they saw.
Because there is no telephone coverage north from Acote we are unable to post any photos of what they are all seeing and doing - something I wish we could do. In any case we will continue to do our best. I really don't expect to hear from them today unless Francis would have to come down from the mountain for more supplies.
Keep checking back on this blog for more information. I will post again as soon as I hear anything. Thanks for reading.