Local doctor experiences terrible conditions in Haiti

The conditions in Haiti following the January earthquake there are unbelievably bad, said Dr. Greg Murphy, who has 20 years of missionary experience in some of the world’s poorest places.

Murphy, a urologist, traveled to Haiti with 11 other Greenville doctors and four from Connecticut to work at St. Damien of Molokai Mission Medical Facility 10 days after the earthquake decimated the country.

Murphy continues to organize relief efforts for the country as conditions are not improving there, he said.

“I’ve done mission work for over 20 years, and I have been in places like Calcutta, Nairobi and Swaziland, but this is by far the worst conditions I have ever seen in a Third World country,” Murphy said. “It was poverty stacked upon poverty and devastation stacked on devastation.”

Murphy said the team, which he assembled with the help of St. Peter’s Catholic Church and the Order of Passionist, didn’t know what to expect.

“It affected every single one of us in a different way,” Murphy said. “We all left a piece of ourselves there and brought a piece of Haiti back with us.”

Murphy said the doctors slept in tents outside of the hospital, which managed to escape major damage.

“The conditions outside of the hospital were desperate,” Murphy said. “People were living in tents made out of bedsheets, and they have lost access to a lot of food.”

Murphy said he stays in contact with Father Rick Frechette, who runs the hospital. Frechette has said that conditions are not getting better, and in some ways ,they are getting worse.

Patients who have been treated on the U.S.S. Comfort, a Navy hospital ship, are being released to the small pediatric hospital, and it is overrun, Murphy said.

“Father Rick has asked us to try to get a 1,000 tents and rice to feed these people,” Murphy said. “A lot of the organizations that have promised him things have had empty promises, and that is disappointing.”

In an effort to drum up support, Murphy told his patients in Greenville that he would match their donations to the cause.

“It has been over a month now, and it is out of the public eye, but this is not a problem that will go away or get solved in a month,” Murphy said.

He is encouraging donations to St. Peter’s Catholic Church, designated for the Order of Passionist Haiti Relief Fund. Murphy said there are no administrative costs for the fund, and 100 percent of the donations will be sent to help people in Haiti.

Contact Josh Humphries at jhumphries@reflector.com or (252) 329-9565.

Local doctor experiences terrible conditions in Haiti

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