News & Events

Team Canada and our Volunteers in the News and Events

06 February 2010 - Toronto Star - Porter: Who'll heal Haiti's wounded psyche?

04 February 2010 - CBC North Radio 1 Inuvik - Marc Arsenault speaks about the work of TCHH at a fundraiser in Inuvik

03 February 2010 - CBC Radio One, The Current - The Current in Haiti - a Haiti Special co-hosted with David Gutnick in Haiti
David Gutnick visits Healing Hands where he talks with Al, Yasmine & Colleen Listen to the interview in Part One...

03 February 2010 - AOL News - The Burden of Caring for Haiti's Disabled Children - The challenges faced by Kimberly's mother foreshadow what lies ahead for many parents of disabled children in Haiti...

02 February 2010 - A Channel Ottawa - /A\ Morning's Jennifer Madigan discusses the challenges facing the children and people of Haiti with Team Canada volunteers Karen, Scott, Nathalie, & Caryn

01 February 2010 - Toronto Star - Amputees learning to take first steps - Charities helping victims master the basics...

30 January 2010 - ABC WLS 7 Chicago - Spinal Cord Injured Evacuated to Chicago - Dr Dan Ivankovich & Dr Colleen O'Connell discuss transferring two high level spinal cord injured patients...

29 January 2010 - Healing Hands and Limbs for Haiti: An interview with Eric Doubt by Paul Boin

28 January 2010 - Chicago Tribune - Surgeon helps Haiti quake victims defy odds - Overcoming bad roads and red tape to bring patients to a hospital with world-class care ...

28 January 2010 - WGN News Chicago - Chicago Doctors Return from Haiti - Dr Colleen O'Connell of Handicap International and TCHH founder speaks regarding transfer of patients from Port au Prince to Northwestern.  

27 January 2010 - CNN - Tough challenge gets tougher for Haitian amputees

25 January 2010 - Handicap International Press Release - HI 51 - Handicap International Haiti emergency - Health team in Haiti estimates the number of amputees to be more than 1000 and begins planning for long term action...

25 January 2010 - The Palm Beach Post - Cut off from livelihood: Haitians Face Rough Future as Amputees in Labor Intensive Nation - Airport lawn-care man Basaney Simon lost his

25 January 2010 - - Thousands lose limbs in Haiti earthquake - Untold thousands of Haitians have lost...

20 January 2010 - The Chronicle Herald - Therapist brings her skills to Haiti - Ruth Duggan is part of a five-member, early response team volunteering with Handicap International....

20 January 2010 - The Daily Gleaner - Doctors to tickle funny bones to help Haiti - A musical-comedy show to raise money for Haiti is taking place...

20 January 2010 - Haiti Earthquake- Crush Syndrome Likely Cause of Significant Disability - Information about crush syndrome

18 January 2010 - DalNews - Rehab team en route to Haiti - Their rehabilitation clinic in Haiti is reduced to rubble, but their resolve for recovery is gathering...

16 January 2010 - ABC News - Will Spinal Cord Injuries Fall Through the Cracks in Haiti? - Dr. Colleen O'Connell speaks with ABC about the aftermath of the earthquake

20 January 2010 - Upcoming Fundraising Events in Support of Earthquake Relief
fundraisers for Earthquake Relief that TCHH has planned for the Fredericton area.
1. Ultrasounds Matinee: Sunday January 24th at 2:00 pm at the Fredericton Playhouse Tickets are $25.
This is a rollicking musical comedy revue, held as an annual fundraiser for the Stan Cassidy Centre for Rehab. The performers are all medical personnel that many of you will know in very different contexts. This year, they have decided to hold a second show, (their Saturday night performance is sold out), with all the proceeds going to Team Canada Healing Hands. Please help to fill the Playhouse by attending and bringing lots of friends with you. Go to the Playhouse website to purchase tickets on line or drop in to the Playhouse box office. See the great picture and write-up in the January 20th Daily Gleaner.
2. Musical evening (Soiree Benefice) at Le Centre Communautaire Ste Anne, Priestman Street, Sunday January 31st at 7:30 pm: Tickets will be $15 at the door
The Flying Scotsman, Frank Taylor, has offered his considerable Celtic talents to start off a musical evening at Le Centre Ste Anne. This will be followed by performers from Bonnie Kilburn Dance studio and a performance by Sebastien Boudreau. Our own Marie Elaine Beaulieu will be the MC, and will be talking about some of her experiences in Haiti. There will be a raffle of 2 paintings donated by Guy Vezina. More details to come, but please reserve the evening and talk to your friends.
3. Downtown Blues Band at IRoc (King and Westmorland),
Friday February 12th: 7:00 to 10:00 pm The Downtown Blues Band will be playing at IRoc, and it sounds as though the band is doing everything they can to support TCHH. Members of Team Canada will be dancing the night away, come out and join us! .
4. Fourth Annual Chocolate Lovers' Soiree,

Saturday, February 13th: Frogmore (35 Colter Court - corner of Dundonald and Regent) Tickets are $25 This yummy all-you-can-eat, hand made chocolate event is the best Valentine's date ever. There's a change of venue this year, and you're going to love the beautiful Victorian home, Frogmore. You can buy tickets for either the 6:30 to 8:00 pm tasting or the 8:30 to 10:00 pm. Both will have live music. At the early event, The Chad Ball Group will be playing (guitar, bass, sax and drums); at the later event, Steven Peacock will play classical guitar. Tickets will be available from Liz or by calling 457-0826 and Heather Jordan at Wilkins Building Supplies (more locations to be announced later).

17 January 2010 - Handicap International to deploy a first response team this week
Five volunteers from Canada and USA have been contracted to form part of an early response team to join Handicap International and deploy to Haiti.  Dr. Colleen O’Connell (Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation specialist, Fredericton), Al Ingersoll (Prosthetics, Minneapolis), Frank Shirley (Orthotics, Boston), Carly Gray (Physical Therapist, Ottawa), Ruth Duggan (Occupational Therapist, Halifax) will fly Tuesday and Wednesday (Jan. 19, 20) to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, and will then take an air shuttle to Port au Prince. All of these volunteers have experience working with Healing Hands for Haiti International over the past several years.
The mission’s goal include:
1.1  Search, identification & immediate essential first aid and wound care for injured persons in the community
1.2  Provision of transportation to hospitals
1.3  Provision of essential life-saving injury care at hospital level

2.1   Installation of a temporary hospital support structure in coordination with the functioning hospitals
2.2  Identification, distribution of devices and consumables, urgent rehabilitation care and follow-up at hospital and community level of persons with injuries
2.3  Printing and distribution of leaflets on wound management and injury care

3.1 Identification and provision of specific mid term cares and follow-up for persons with amputation, spinal cord injuries and complex fractures
3.2 Provision and fitting of persons with amputation and spinal cord injuries with prosthetic or orthotic device

15 January - More photos of the compound taken on 14 January 2010

A note from Dr. Colleen O'Connell - Team Canada Healing Hands Board Chair:

Our immediate effort is to get reahab care and our rehab services back operational in Haiti - as a group [partnering with Healing Hands for Haiti International]. We are collecting for our rehabilitation centre in Haiti, and to be able to get operational ASAP and start treating the injured.
We have photos now from our clinic – incredible.  As those who have worked with us know, it is a 4 acre property on a hill, and most buildings are “tiered”.
Our clinic still mostly stands, and it looks like we can get into the pharmacy, storeroom, and P&O shop – an engineer will check it out today.
Our guesthouse has cracks, but incredibly stands, and has water and the generator is working.
Sadly, the houses and apartments on our property that house many UN staff and some families that have lived there for years,  have totally collapsed – the five storey building where I stayed last trip, is pancaked.  Only a small room on main level has not collapsed – incredibly this is where our friend George lived – the SCCR [Stan Cassidy Centre for Rehabilitation] nurses took care of him on our last trip; he has a stroke and is in a wheelchair.  He was outside when the building collapsed, and yesterday was still sitting outside!  Two others trapped in the building are now presumed dead.
I anticipate getting to Haiti in the upcoming weeks, but we will be needing volunteers over the next months and year as we treat and manage all the injured. 
Please keep an eye on our website for updates – you can donate [through Canada Helps - see the button on the left] and also sign up on our roster for volunteers.
Thank you all for your expressions of concern, support, and offers to help. This is truly a magical community we live and work in, and is one light in this time of such horrible tragedy.
Colleen O'Connell, MD FRCPC

Team member Melissa Grant provides her point of view in this article: Many locals anxiously watching...

14 January - Dr. Colleen O'Connell of the Stan Cassidy Rehabilitation Centre in Fredericton talks about the devastation in Haiti

The Montana Hotel is now a pile of rubble

Once one of the nicest hotels in PAP. Located just a few kilometers from our home base, we would go here to relax after a hard day of work.


Healing Hands International property severely damaged by quake

Images from the Bon Travay compound:

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14 January 2010 - News from our partner Healing Hands For Haiti, Executive Director Eric Doubt

To all, Lisa and I finally heard from our operations manager, Antonio. first of all, thank goodness, Antonio and his whole family are all fine.  His home, car, property, all okay.  He has generator power, water, internet and VOIP telephone communications.  Antonio has personally seen the following staff members who are okay: Siltane (who is living at the guest house), Noel, Joel, Jean, Soeurette, Caseus and the security guards. All of these people are unharmed. Noel unfortunately has not yet found his young daughter.  Jean’s wife is injured.  Antonio confirmed that Dr. Lalane and family are okay.  His is the only home standing in his neighbourhood. We have no news from any others yet.  
I’m sorry to report the following news: in terms of our property, the main apartment building facing the guest house is completely destroyed.  Antonio does not yet know the fate of two tenants still buried under the rubble.  As far as he knows, the other apartment dwellers got out.  Our clinic and administration building are damaged with cracks and the two staircases leading to them are impassable.  The clinic entrance to the physiotherapy area has collapsed.  Security are ensuring nobody goes near or enters.  The small private house past the pool across from the administration steps has been destroyed.  The guest house is intact, but Antonio stresses it needs to be assessed. Siltane is safe in her apartment which has a locked door.  There is generator electricity.  Not sure about water yet.  
Antonio reported that, on his walk from Petionville to our headquarters, it was as if the entire city was out in the streets.  When I asked about the mood, he said very quiet because they are counting their dead.  Three of the Unibanks he knows of collapsed with people inside.  There is no banking, no gas available and the airport is closed except for emergency missions right now.  We have asked Antonio when he returns tomorrow to take detailed photographs, to locate and report on other staff, to further assess the guest house, to secure the compound, to locate the water purification system in the guest house and make it operational for our use and the public’s if necessary. He is going to be calling Lisa and I twice a day as communications are possible to report and to take our questions.  Antonio and his home are going to be the communications centre for HHHI in Haiti for the time being.
We told Antonio to communicate to his family, our staff and all our associates that we are setting up an emergency relief fund for staff and families and that we are planning for deploying an emergency response and reconnaissance mission as soon as it is humanly possible.  We assured him of the massive worldwide support that we are witnessing in the media.  We told him to be safe and take no chances and thanked him on everyone’s behalf for his calmness and compassion.  This news came in after our emergency board meeting tonight.  We are holding a second such meeting tomorrow, Thursday night and will provide you more details as we receive them on a regular basis. You may, of course, have received some of this information already.  Feel free to pass any of it on to others.  
On a positive note, donations via the web site and in person are substantial and rising and we are flooded with material and volunteer offers which we are coordinating. The best advice we have is to tell everyone the most important thing we need is money and to go to the web site. Regarding material donations, people can be thanked and asked to hold onto them until we can get back and coordinate.  Major donations can be referred to Physicians for Peace. We advise volunteers to fill out the form on the web site stating their specialties, as we will be requiring numerous teams to be deployed throughout the year.  We’re also categorizing specialties and providing contact information to the Canadian and U.S. Red Cross and MSF.

Updates from our friends in Haiti

Tuesday night 

- we heard that Antonio (HHH Director of Operations) and Soeurette (HHHI Administrative Manager) were safe

-St Joseph's Home for Boys near Delmas was destroyed by the quake, two boys were badly injured and one guest was unaccounted for. Bill (everyone's favorite drummer!) was injured jumping roof to roof as the buildings collapsed beneath him.

- Wings of Hope was badly damaged but all the children and staff were safe and spent the night scared but together in the new kitchen (old store) 

- The Montana Hotel is  mostly collapsed

- Richard morris (RAM) is reportedly ok

- Cyril Pressoir is fine

- In Jacmel, Christophe fine; Cyvadier Hotel partially collapsed

- Pazapa clinic OK – Jacmel hospital has collapsed

- Chances for Children orphanage (Gina Duncan) was damaged but everyone was fine

- The Presidential Palace is seriously damaged, many government buildings are gone. The Maternity hospital is the one in Petionville collapsed. 


- Group from St Joseph's (about 20 boys and the leaders) made their way to Wings of Hope

- We received this post from Renee at Wings of Hope - Major earthquake in Haiti. Limited email and electricity. None of either at Wings. I am borrowing a computer at the Baptist Mission, blessings to them. I will post updates on Facebook as I can and hopefully those will also be posted on the Hearts With Haiti, Broken Wings and Haitian Timoun websites. St. Joseph's is destroyed. Wings has major structural damage. All the Wings and SJ kids are now in the front building at Wings. Bill and TiPatrick were both seriously injured. We're trying to get them into a hospital but all are full. No status on them yet. Limited word from Jacmel is that Trinity House and the TH kids are okay. But the road between PAP and Jacmel is not passible. Please keep the SJF and all of Haiti in your prayers. This is a major disaster. The Caribbean market is totally destroyed, as is the Palace and the National Cathedral. The images are UNBELIEVABLE! Lots of death and destruction. Peace and Love, Renee

- Colleen got email form Renee as well, asking for any and all help! It seemed to read that Bill & TiPatrick got into hospital.

- Finally received word from Celine Chauvel and her partner Hans - they were okay, but the message seems to suggest their property is badly damaged.

- Road to Wings from Petionville is passable, no land route to Jacmel.

- Frankie Francin and family are safe

- Received word late tonight that the Healing Hands compound has some serious problems. The Apartment building on property collapsed. clinic and office damaged, guesthouse less but structurally unknown.

- George in the apartment near the guesthouse is okay, but others are trapped in the apartment rubble.

- Word that Healing Hands staff members Syltane, Noel, Joel, Johnny, and Casseus are all fine.

- Chance for Children learned their container of children's supplies of food, medicine and clothing for the orphanage was in customs at the port and fear it is lost.

We have had many offers by people willing to volunteer. At this point we are unsure as to when we will be able to go or at what capacity we will be operating. It is our hope that we will be involved in an assessment team to prepare for the response for people living with disability and those that have been injured in the disaster. As things become clearer over the next few days we will begin to make some plans. Also, we are receiving offers from people to organize or offer their services for fundraisers. A concert and a pot luck dinner have been suggested in Fredericton. we'll need some assistance to  get these organized so if you can help with these or other events please pass on your name to me.

We will try to keep everyone updated as we learn more.

12 January 2010 - Earthquake devastates Haiti

The clinic where Team Canada works with our parter Healing Hands for Haiti is very close to where much of the damage was done - read more New Brunswick team anxiously watches Haiti aftermath

HaitiTeam Canada HealingHands is responding to a powerful earthquake that struck Haiti on Jan. 12, 2010. The earthquake has collapsed buildings and caused wide-spread damage, injuries, and fatalities throughout Port au Prince and the countryside.

Team Canada is now working with our partners to make an immediate assessment of the damage. We are attempting to make contact with Healing Hands Haitian staff to ensure their safety, as well as the staff and residents of our partner organizations and orphanages where we spend so much of our time and efforts. At this time we are still unaware of the status of our clinic and guesthouse sites.

Team Canada aid workers are now on standby to be deployed to Haiti if needed. We are now involved in assessing the immediate requirements to make a coordinated effort to respond to the specific needs of the Haitian population living with a disability. In the coming days, the number of persons with disabilities will grow dramatically, and we are beginning preparations to respond to this humanitarian effort.

Canadians are encouraged to support Team Canada HealingHands’ relief efforts by making a financial donation to the Haiti Earthquake Response fund. Donations can be made online through our Canada Helps online donations page or by calling our office, 506-363-3836. Please specify your gift for the “Haiti Earthquake Response Fund”.

We will make every effort to keep this space updated as we learn more about the situation. For more information or to arrange an interview: Team Canada Media line 506-260-0980

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