Volunteers return from Haiti
|Oluyemisi Odugbesan, M.D., is greeted by her son, Dara, and daughter, Yonin, at Omaha's Eppley Airfield on Sunday night, as news cameramen look on. Dr. Odugbesan -- a UNMC instructor of anesthesiology -- returned from a week treating earthquake victims in Haiti.|
And as the two embraced, tears began to flow from Dr. Odugbesan's eyes -- as if she was releasing the stress and pain of what she called the "the hardest week" of her career.
After the hug, Dr. Odugbesan faced news cameras and reporters who waited to hear her discuss her week of treating earthquake victims in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.
"Imagine downtown Omaha with every other building just flattened," the UNMC instructor of anesthesiology said. "Imagine walking out of your house and seeing your neighbor's house flattened and everyone in it crushed."
Dr. Odugbesan and 10 other members of the medical center's first deployment of volunteers either returned to Omaha this past weekend or were scheduled to return today.
Two volunteers remained in Haiti to help members of the medical center's second deployment transition into their relief jobs. Officials anticipate that UNMC's next deployment will occur this week.
The medical center's next deployment will include several nurses to help with wound care, which Dr. Odugbesan said is a major need as victims of the Jan. 12 earthquake recover from amputations and other injuries.
Future deployments also could include pharmacists, physical therapists and physicians assistants with orthopaedics and plastics expertise.
As for Dr. Odugbesan, she said she'd be willing to deploy again.
"There are people who need help there," she said, her cheeks still wet with tears. "They need rehabilitation. Yes, I want to go back."