Friday, August 17, 2012

The Volcano

Montserrat Hearts 2012 has many more posts for the readers to follow. There are countless stories and aspects of the trip that we want the world to hear about. But it's time to deal with the culprit - the Soufriere Hills volcano. SHORT HISTORY LESSON
"After laying dormant since prehistoric times (pre 1632 for Montserrat), the Soufrière Hills Volcano in the southern part of the island began erupting on 18 July 1995 with a phreatic explosion (steam and ash) following a 3 year period of seismic (earthquake) activity which began in 1992. The first large event occurred in August 1995 blanketing Plymouth in a thick ash cloud which brought almost complete darkness for about 15 minutes. Shortly afterwards the first evacuation of southern Montserrat was initiated. Plymouth itself was finally abandoned the following year. It now lies buried under layers of volcanic debris deposited by pyroclastic activity and mudflows - each time it rains here in the Emerald Isle, a little more of the former capital disappears forever. 1997 is probably uppermost in people's minds when they recall the eruption to date, and saw pyroclastic flows and surges sweep down the north-eastern flanks of the volcano causing the abandonment of the W H Bramble Airport. By this time more than half of Montserrat's inhabitants had been moved away after their homes and businesses were destroyed and the island's tourism industry was also adversely affected. Since then an Exclusion Zone encompassing the Soufrière Hills Volcano has been in place and life has refocused to the north. "
These are just words to most of us who didn't witness the devastation to this beautiful Emerald Island. On Thursday, August 2, 2012, the team went up to see the volcano in a helicopter and were able to see the infrastructure and land below the volcano - or whatever was left of it. The land was baron and covered with soot. The plethora of buildings including the newly built hospital, the government headquarters, churches, stores and homes were covered to the rooftops. It's difficult to articulate the emotion we all felt seeing the remains of this mass devastation.
It is so hard to put into words so pictures are attached.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Blood Pressure Screenings on Montserrat

This year, Radio Montserrat assisted our team by announcing all of the screening sites during the week of our trip. Nadines, the St. Peters Schoolhouse, the Cudgoe head Police Station, the Montserrat Cultural Center and the Government Headquarters were the sites of the screenings. Over the four days, despite the tropic storms that hit the island, over 200 people came out and had their blood pressures taken. We plan to analyze the results over the next few weeks. It appears that diabetes is still prevelant on the island.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

I did what the doctor ordered......

Tuesday, July 30 August 2011...Note to diary..I just returned from seeing Dr. Fergus, the NY Cardiologist visiting Montserrat and she told me that I am having so many health issues because I am over weight. She told me that if I changed my eating habits, the weight loss would follow. She told me to start taking out "Me time" to concentrate on the task ahead, my goal of loosing at least 75 pounds.
Dr. Fergus gave me so many reasons to do it, but I know in my heart, I need to do it for me!!!! /">............About one year later . . . . . Dear Diary... I saw Dr. Fergus today and I was so excited to show her the new, great, beautiful and improved me!!! So far I have dropped over 40 pounds of weight........... How many of us have been told this and actually listened? Delmaude Ryan is living proof!! After nearly a year, Delmaude is a different person. She is confident and she is full of self esteem. Delmaude has a few rules to live by. She didn't want to go on a "diet", she wanted to modify her life style. The old Delmaude would leave the house in the morning and usually eat nothing for breakfast. Sometimes she would make up for it at lunch, and sometimes she would just gorge herself at dinner. In her discussion with Dr.Fergus, Dr. Fergus touched on diet and exercise. She also explained which foods were the ones to stay away from, so Delmaude took it in her own hands. At 5:30 AM. each morning she starts off with a 90 minute walk, followed with a good breakfast, lunch and dinner. She does little or no snacking during the day and she stopped eating three house before bed. After a while, her 90 minute walk only took 60 minutes. Her clothes were falling off her. Delmaude has a wonderful outlook. There are monments during the day where she will call her "me"time. This seems to help her refocus on the next deeds on hand. She also steps away from her desk at lunch time and eats her lunch somewhere else. She found that she was "inhaling" the food and not enjoing it, so now she sits outside by the office buildings and relaxes. When asked for the trick to loosing that much weight that quickly, Delmaude said "you just open your eyes one day and say "I am going to do it and I am doing it for me!!! Delmaude just had her year celebration in a skinnier body and she is loving life. She is truly inspiration to all. Before

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

First Day Medical Experience

Good morning.. today is our second day of work on Montserrat. Yesterday, Dr. Scobie performed 17 echocardiagrams on patients. While most results showed evidence of hypertension, there were some that showed great need for further medical attention. "It was very gratifying to perform good quality echos on people who needed them. People were not only grateful and thankful for this service, they were most interest in learning about what their results. We had a great first day!" This message was posted by Dr. Janice Scobie, Cardiologist, Mount Sinai School of Medicine.

Monday, July 30, 2012

St. Patrick's........Island Church

Pictures of the Countryside

Today is the first day to see patients.  Drs Fergus, Scobie and Sumner will spend their day seeing about 30 patients for echos, ekgs and exams.  But first, they will test out the island equipment to familarize themselves with the equipment and to set standarized protocols.  . Having not just one, but having two more cardiologists on this health mission, will extend the great care we are able to provide. Dr. Fergus, who is the lead physician, will see the patients, many for a second time, in two years.  Drs. Scobie and Sumner will run the Echos and will assist in the interpretation of results.  Dr. Sumner, who has been practicing medicine for over thirty years, is also an engineer, so we are hopeful that if there is an equipment malfunction, Dr. Sumner will be able to work through that challenge.

Yesterday, the team attended mass at St. Patrick's church. The congregation welcomed our team and gave blessings to our work.  The music was an amazing blend of carribean and traditional religious hymn that echoed through the countryside.