Dr Pierre Woolley, trauma and orthopedic surgeon does surgeries and other essential procedures to help correct limb deformities in children as well as adults, asked me if we could get him a hand held ultrasound machine. Diagnostic imaging equipment is very expensive, hard to transport, and requires a reliable source of power. Working in Haiti, all of those factors can be barriers to delivering patient care. With the help of Dr Chris Fleming, an eye surgeon in Memphis who has worked in Haiti for years, we identified the Butterfly iQ machine as the best option. Ultrasound equipment normally costs $10,000-$20,000 for a small unit. However, with new technology there is now a way to shrink down the components so that it can be used with a mobile phone. The unit costs $2500. The Butterfly iQ has won several awards for innovative design and has the potential to transform bedside care in under-resourced settings.
The challenge of shipping always presents a problem when transporting items to Haiti, so the equipment was purchased and shipped to my home in Memphis Tennessee. Funds were donated by St Mary’s Cathedral in Memphis.
I then shipped the package to Dr Woolley’s sister in Miami, Florida. He plans a family visit to Miami in the summer, and will pick up this ultrasound and take it home in his personal suitcase, thus ensuring safe delivery to Haiti.
It is quite gratifying to have a close working relationship with Dr Woolley,to identify a specific need and be able to provide the equipment he asks for. This machine will help him improve his medical care for the students of St Vincent’s as well as the other patients of our St Vincent’s medical clinic. This clinic serves the folks in Port au Prince who cannot afford a private doctor, and is well known for its brace and prosthetic shop and its service to the community for almost 75 years.