HACKENSACK, N.J. — A woman and her newborn baby lay in the back of a pickup truck in northern Haiti. They are accompanied by a dozen other passengers, all too-close for comfort.
Together they ride together for 60 bumpy minutes because — aside from the back of a motor bike — the "tip tip" is their only form of transportation from the hospital in Milot, Haiti, back home to Cap-Haitian, the second-largest city in the nation.
What the patients need is an ambulance, said Englewood OB-GYN David Butler. Since 1992, he has been volunteering in Haiti with the Crudem Foundation — Holy Name Medical Center's non-profit organization and financial arm of Milot's Hôpital Sacré Coeur (HSC).
Butler's (HSC) patients will get just that, thanks to the Hackensack Volunteer Ambulance Corps. The first responders donated a retired 1999 rig to Teaneck's Holy Name Medical Center in April to be shipped to HSC later this month.
"This is going to be the lap of luxury for [HSC] as far as being able to get people home," said Butler, chairman of the Crudem Foundation.
The level of medicine in HSC was stuck where the United States was in the 1950s when Butler first visited 24 years ago.
Things revolutionized "dramatically" since the 2010 earthquake, but still remain approximately three decades behind American technology and advanced operative skills, the physician said.
Butler expects to see yet another uptick in the quality of care at HSC as soon as the rig arrives later this month, cutting travel time from 60 minutes to 25.
"The ambulance will modernize the transport of injury and seriously injured people," he said. "It's going to be a wonderful thing for the hospital."
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