Tulane doctor experienced 7.0 earthquake while in surgery

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by Mike Hoss / Eyewitness News

wwltv.com

Posted on January 19, 2010 at 11:29 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jan 20 at 12:12 AM

NEW ORLEANS -- A week ago Dr. Peter Meade with the Tulane Medical School was in the middle of surgery in Haiti when the walls began to shake and sway.

“Basically I just waited with my patient until the shaking stopped,” Meade said. ”The shaking was about at least a minute and a half, which sounds like -- it feels like a long time when you're going through it. Hey, this isn't stopping yet.”

Meade was in a town 200 miles away from the epicenter in Port au Prince. Because of the poor communications in the area, they didn't get a feeling of the earthquake's enormity until the following day.

The group he was with sent down a bus full of provisions. It returned full of people.

“And while he was there, he handed out all the food and brought back about 100 people grabbing onto the top of the bus to escape from there. His words, his e-mail to me was that his capital, Port au Prince, was rubble,” Meade said.

Meade was in Haiti as part of a 15 person volunteer medical team to provide free surgeries to children who desperately need the help. He's made these type of medical missions in 13 countries over the last 22 years, and he understands the grim reality that lies ahead for those living in Haiti.

“Well these people had nothing to start with. Now it’s even worse. They're living on the edge anyway. Again Haiti is the poorest country in the western hemisphere.”

Meade said he is already planning to make a trip to the stricken area later this year to help out.

 

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