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HE GROUND AND IN THE AIR IN HAITI

By Air Evac Lifeteam Staff photos: Dave Hardin

With trembling hands and a heavy heart, the man delivered his precious cargo to the refugee camp workers with a clear message: Please give my daughter a life. Kitsy, a seven-year-old Haitian girl, was suffering from the physical effects of malnutrition and scurvy, and her father was determined to save her.

“I give her to you,” he said in broken English. “Please take her to the United States so she will have a life. Here, in Haiti, she will die.” He then turned and quickly walked away, leaving Kitsy in- stantly orphaned as the newest member of a refugee camp assisting children after the catastrophic earthquake that rocked the Caribbean nation January 12.

Kitsy, like thousands of other Haitian children, serves as a microcosm of the hu- man suffering caused by Mother Nature and her 7.0 magnitude temblor. Her story is just one of many passed along to Dave Hardin, Director of Safety for Air Evac Lifeteam, who spent 16 days in the Dominican Re- public assisting AeroAmbulancia in its ef- forts to provide Helicopter EMS (HEMS) and resupply missions into Haiti. AeroAm- bulancia, which is part of the Helidosa Avi- ation Group, is based in Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic, which shares the island of Hispaniola with Haiti. Hardin points to Kitsy as a reason why the international community should not forget the devastation of January 12. “Things are changing quite a bit in Haiti, especially since it’s no longer front page news,” he said. “Now the real tragedy be- gins as many of the relief organizations and medical personnel who came to help are headed back home. The military still has a strong presence and are passing out some food and water regionally, but it’s

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Haitian refugees pose with Air Evac Lifeteam Director of Safety, Dave Hardin and the AeroAmbulancia crew at the orphanage/refugee camp run by The Children’s International Lifeline.

www.ROTORCRAFTPRO.com • March 2010

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