The situation in Haiti was made worse Monday with heavy rains from Tropical Storm Grace in areas where people have lost their family members and there are hundreds wounded - many of them in rural areas.
Tuesday evening, NBC 6 saw just what it takes to save them.
A little girl injured in the earthquake was being moved onto a stretcher. Her face captured the distress of this region and the plea for help. She’s just one of the people who was hurt.
The Coast Guard helicopter I was on landed was not an an airport, but in an open soccer field like an angel from the sky. Those hearing it came rushing out on both motorcycles and on foot.
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In one rural area that is hard to get to by land, the medical teams here since the earthquake have been doing the best they can - but don’t have the ability to treat anyone seriously injured.
I asked one man what they needed here. His answer was simple:
One U.S. Coast Guard member was off the helicopter and out in the crowd with the volunteer translator trying to get the helicopter as close as they possibly can to the people who are the most seriously injured.
One woman, who is pregnant, showed up in the back of a truck and was selected to be transported. She was loaded on the helicopter very carefully as her right leg was broken.
Also, lucky enough to be picked for a ride was a man with back and internal injuries.
“Unfortunately, we are in an area with not paved roads—that was very rural. I was just asking the neighborhood people where the patients were," said Hunter Picken, the translator turned emergency medical assistant. "They said she had a femur fracture, and after that we had a 13 year old girl. She had a pelvis fracture. And the other gentleman they were really sure, something with spinal injury."
On the 35 minute flight back to the capital city of Port Au Prince, the three whose lives were turned upside down when the ground started rumbling Saturday tried to remain calm and those of us with them tried to lift their spirits.
The Coast Guard pilots touched down and teams of medical personnel came to rush the little girl, man and woman off to ambulances waiting on the tarmac. For the Coast Guard crew members, it's mission accomplished.
For the military and anyone helping out, there’s a reality that this will be the scene around the clock for a while.
“We are reaching the capacity in Port Au Prince in the hospitals as well. So, what we are looking to do is send materials to the south for the hospitals,” Picken said.
The Coast Guard continues to expand is operations to aid those trapped by an earthquake, tropical storm, and limited infrastructure. Each day, more help is arriving here - all types of supplies and much of it from South Florida, but Tuesday what we saw was really the military, the volunteers from agencies who have come here and the Haitian medical teams really working all together.