About Amy Umble:
Amy Umble is health reporter for The Free Lance-Star
An update from Dr. Sheets
Dr. Cliff Sheets wrote late last week with an update on his attempt to get to Haiti. His e-mail is reprinted below with his permission.
Sheets, right, had been scheduled to join a group from International Allied Missions on a medical mission trip. But the Jan. 12 earthquake there changed everything. As he describes below, he’s still going, but his group is smaller now and his travel plans are much more complicated. If it’s possible, we will talk with Dr. Sheets while he’s in Haiti. We hope to provide a report on what he finds there and the work he and the other doctors are doing.
"We are a "go" for Saturday, Jan 30. It is a little convoluted, but here is how we are getting there: We will fly Friday night to Chicago. Once there, we will get on a United flight (after sleeping overnight in the airport) and will fly on a humanitarian flight directly into Port au Prince early Saturday.
"We will attempt to return on Feb. 6 as scheduled, but we are not sure we will make it home that date as we do not have guaranteed seats. The State Department determines who gets on each flight. The worst-case scenario is that we travel overland to the Dominican and fly home from there.
"We will be somewhat limited by the airline on how much weight we can bring, but I think we will get enough into the country to be effective. As it is, we will not be allowed to take our whole team in. There will be a total of six doctors on our trip: Drs. Chris Huesgen and Claudia Sussdorf of Fredericksburg, myself and three surgeons from Atlanta.
"Drs. Mike Goeden and Tim Powell of Fredericksburg are getting into the country by an American Airlines humanitarian flight Jan. 25 out of Miami. So over the next two weeks, there will be five local doctors in the country.
"Cell phone coverage has been restored, and I should be able to call and give you a report and perhaps even text some photos out.
"The public response to your previous articles has been tremendous. Individuals as well as corporations have donated supplies and cash for our trip. One of my favorite sayings is "Adversity does not build character, it reveals it." The character of the people and the business community of Fredericksburg has been revealed, and I am proud to have a chance to represent them in Haiti."